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Flyers-Capitals: Game 54 Preview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For most of the week, the hockey world has been completely focused on the Washington Capitals. The Flyers make the trip to DC for a weekend back-to-back with three games remaining on their schedule.

The Capitals have a lot to play for, looking to claim an edge in the East Division race. Just like earlier this week against Pittsburgh, the Flyers look to play spoiler, starting with Friday night's opener.

Game time is at 7 p.m.

Team Leaders

Philadelphia Flyers GP G A P Washington Capitals GP G A P
Jake Voracek 50 9 34 43 Nicklas Backstrom 53 15 38 53
Claude Giroux 51 16 25 41 John Carlson 51 10 34 44
James van Riemsdyk 53 16 23 39 Alex Ovechkin 44 24 18 42
Sean Couturier 42 16 22 38 T.J. Oshie 51 21 21 42
Joel Farabee 52 17 18 35 Tom Wilson 44 13 20 33

Players To Watch 5-7

Wade Allison continues to be a focal point of the lineup in these closing games. As a relative newcomer, his performance is strictly to see what you have toward next season's team, and the winger has shown flashes of offensive ability.
 
Missing a few pieces from the lineup, Nicklas Backstrom is putting the finishing touches on a solid season overall, posting a point per game this season. Backstrom has five points in his last five games, including a three-assist game against Pittsburgh.
 
Goalie Matchup 5-7

Brian Elliott gets another start for the Flyers. It's been a struggle down the stretch for Elliott as he carries the bulk of the starts. He looks to finish the season on a high note, starting with Friday's outing.

Vitek Vanecek is getting a good bulk of the starts with Ilya Samsonov out of the lineup on COVID protocol. Vanecek has had some up-and-down results lately, but has solid overall numbers this season.

Projected Lineups

Flyers Line Combos 5-7 updated

Flyers Scratches: Shayne Gostisbehere (suspension), Robert Hagg (healthy), Jackson Cates (healthy)

Opponent Line Combos 5-7 update

Capitals Scratches: Alex Ovechkin (injury), Justin Schultz (injury), Evgeny Kuznetsov (COVID protocol), Ilya Samsonov (COVID protocol)

Lineup Notes

  • Flyers: Cam York makes his NHL debut. He will play alongside Justin Braun. Sam Morin is also returning to the lineup. No changes are being made at forward.
  • Capitals: There are plenty of notable absences for the Capitals. In addition to Alex Ovechkin's injury, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Samsonov are on the COVID list.

Game Notes

  • Power Play: Flyers (19th), Capitals (3rd)
  • Penalty Kill: Flyers (30th), Capitals (7th)
  • 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)
    • March 13, 2021 - Capitals 5, Flyers 4 (at PHI)
    • April 13, 2021 - Capitals 6, Flyers 1 (at WSH)
    • April 17, 2021 - Capitals 6, Flyers 3 (at PHI)
  • Flyers Leaders vs. Capitals
    • Claude Giroux - 51 GP, 23 G, 25 A, 48 P
    • Jake Voracek - 45 GP, 15 G, 22 A, 37 P
    • Sean Couturier - 39 GP, 11 G, 19 A, 30 P
    • Brian Elliott - 22 GP, 10-9-0, 3.38 GAA, .883 SV%
  • Milestone Watch
    • Claude Giroux needs two power-play goals to pass Eric Lindros for 8th all-time in Flyers history.
    • Kevin Hayes needs two points to reach 300 for his career. 

Where to Watch
TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Radio: 93.3 WMMR

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