The last time the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals
met, the result was a very one-sided game – both on the scoreboard
and in the penalty minute totals.
While a home-and-home series is sure to produce some more
physical play, another fight between goaltenders seems highly
Philadelphia seeks a measure of revenge – in the final score
only – Sunday when it tries to end a three-game road skid in a
matchup with the Capitals.
Having already changed coaches a little less than a month
earlier, the Flyers’ season hit a low point Nov. 1 with a 7-0 home
loss to a Washington team playing without Alex Ovechkin.
That game featured a melee in the third period that resulted in
114 penalty minutes and a fight between Philadelphia goalie Ray
Emery and Washington’s Braden Holtby. Emery received the highest
total with 29 penalty minutes as part of 99 overall for the Flyers,
while the Capitals were whistled for 65.
Philadelphia coach Craig Berube doesn’t believe there will be
any carryover Sunday.
“We are going to try and win the game,” Berube told the team’s
official website. “They should have in the back of their mind that
we got embarrassed 7-0. That’s it though. You don’t want to lose a
hockey game like that at any time. That’s the way you have to
approach it and nothing more than that.”
Capitals forward Jason Chimera knows the Flyers will have that
ugly loss on their minds.
“It’s going to be a physical affair,” he said. “They’re looking
forward to getting back at us. We beat them pretty handily in their
building, hockey players don’t forget too easily.”
Of bigger concern for Berube is his team’s three-game road
losing streak, during which it has been outscored 17-7.
Those defeats came at the end of a six-game trip before the
Flyers (14-15-3) avoided a fourth straight loss with Thursday’s 2-1
victory over Montreal. Michael Raffl and Claude Giroux scored and
Steve Mason made 20 saves in Philadelphia’s sixth home win in a
”It’s good to see we can put things behind us and move on,”
Giroux said. ”Guys were pretty excited to play home again. Our
fans give us a boost. That was one of our best 60-minute
Mason is expected to start despite going 0-3-1 with a 3.51
goals-against average in his last four appearances against
Holtby is likely to be in net for the Capitals (17-12-3) after
Phillip Grubauer started in a 3-2 shootout loss at Florida on
Friday. Holtby was pulled in the first period of his last start
Monday after allowing three goals on eight shots in a 6-5 shootout
win over Tampa Bay.
Since dropping a season-high four straight, the Capitals are
5-1-1 and have scored 10 goals in their last two home games – both
wins. Ovechkin has accounted for five of those goals.
Philadelphia will have to deal not only with Ovechkin – the NHL
leader with 26 goals – but also Nicklas Backstrom, who has 10
points in his last six games. He’s also recorded at least one point
in 18 of 22 games against the Flyers, totaling 11 goals and 24
The Flyers had won five of six against the Capitals before Joel
Ward keyed the November rout with his first career hat trick.
These teams meet against Tuesday in Philadelphia.