Flyers-Capitals: Game 25 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It was more of the same from the Flyers when the Capitals returned to Wells Fargo Center on Thursday. The team fell behind and ultimately never recovered. So much of it had to do with their own mistakes.

Last week, the Flyers had to completed a massive comeback to secure a win and two points against the Penguins, and it was their only win of the three-game series. They wrap up a three-game week with the Capitals on Saturday night, desperately in need of a win to get back on track in the division race.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Washington Capitals GP G A P
James van Riemsdyk 24 11 16 27 Nicklas Backstrom 26 10 19 29
Joel Farabee 23 11 11 22 John Carlson 26 6 16 22
Kevin Hayes 24 9 11 20 Jakub Vrana 25 10 9 19
Claude Giroux 22 4 14 18 Alex Ovechkin 22 9 10 19
Sean Couturier 14 6 11 17 T.J. Oshie 25 6 12 18

Players To Watch 3-13

Sean Couturier has been the Flyers best player in the last few games. It's not even close. Every time he's on the ice, there is at least the chance something happens. The team has either had their best possession shift in several minutes or finds a way to capitalize or draw a penalty. Couturier and his line may be leaned upon again to carry them.
 
It has the potential to be a big night for Alex Ovechkin. First, he's scored in each game against the Flyers this season, totaling four goals in three games. Ovechkin is also three shots away from passing Jaromir Jagr for second all-time with 5,638 shots. Only Ray Bourque has more at 6,209 shots on goal. Ovechkin is also three points away from 1,300 in his career. He's also sitting on 715 career goals, just two away from tying Phil Esposito for sixth all-time.
 
Goalie Matchup 3-13

Brian Elliott allowed four goals to the Capitals on Thursday, but gets the start in goal again on Saturday. It was hard to fault Elliott on any of the goals given the defensive structure in front of him, and he's been solid all season. 

Ilya Samsonov was not quite as busy as he was in Sunday's game against the Flyers, making 29 saves in Thursday's win instead of the 36 he made earlier in the week. That said, he's been sharp for the Capitals since he return from the COVID list and gets another start in goal on Saturday.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 3-13

Flyers Scratches: Michael Raffl (injury), Morgan Frost (injury), Erik Gustafsson (healthy), Robert Hagg (healthy)

 
Opponent Line Combos 3-13

Capitals Scratches: Tom Wilson (suspended), Lars Eller (personal reasons), Jonas Siegenthaler (healthy), Trevor van Riemsdyk (healthy)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Michael Raffl is still not available, so the Flyers are using the same group of forwards. On defense, Alain Vigneault confirmed that Phil Myers will be back in the lineup, but did not specify who would be coming out. Based on pairings, Nate Prosser may be back in the lineup and both Erik Gustafsson and Robert Hagg may be out, but we'll see if that's the case closer to warmups.
  • Capitals: Lars Eller was a late scratch on Thursday, leaving the team with a family matter. He remains out for Saturday and Brian Pinho is coming in to take his place. The rest of the lineup is the same.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (T-19th), Capitals (9th)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (T-25th), Capitals (11th)
  • Recent History vs. Capitals
    • Feb. 7, 2021 – Flyers 7, Capitals 4 (at WSH)
    • March 7, 2021 – Capitals 3, Flyers 1 (at PHI)
    • March 11, 2021 – Capitals 5, Flyers 3 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Capitals
    • Claude Giroux – 48 GP, 22 G, 23 A, 45 P
    • Jake Voracek – 42 GP, 15 G, 20 A, 35 P
    • Sean Couturier – 36 GP, 10 G, 18 A, 28 P
    • Brian Elliott – 20 GP, 10-8-0, 3.15 GAA, .891 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Travis Konecny needs one point to reach 200 for his career.
    • Ivan Provorov needs two assists to reach 100 for his career.

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 97.5 The Fanatic/97.3 ESPN

Game Preview Video