GAME 55: FLYERS @ CAPITALS
Playing their final road game and penultimate match of the 2020-21 season, Alain Vigneault's Philadelphia Flyers (24-23-7) remain in DC on Saturday for the second game of a back-to-back set with Peter Laviolette's Washington Capitals (34-15-5) at Capital One Arena. Game time is 7 p.m. EDT. The game will be televised on NBCSP. The teams will rematch on Saturday.
The Flyers are 2-5-0 against the Capitals this season. For an in-depth look at the Flyers' 4-2 win in Washington on Friday evening, see the Postgame 5
on the Flyers' official website.
For a game-by-game review of the Flyers-Capitals season series prior to Friday's game and how it impacted Philadelphia's season in the broader picture, click here
and see the lead section of Friday's game preview.
The Flyers played a good overall game against the Capitals on Friday, getting off to a quick start in all three periods, taking only one penalty, and playing from ahead most of the night. When there were breakdowns and scrambles in the Philadelphia zone, Brian Elliott stepped up with some big stops among his 28-save performance.
The Flyers got two goals from rookie power forward Wade Allison (3rd and 4th) on Friday, and one goal each from Joel Farabee (18th) and Sean Couturier (ENG, 17th). Cam York played well in his NHL debut and defenseman Phil Myers, who has struggled for much of the season, produced one of his better all-around games the season.
On the downside, both Washington goals came about off Flyers turnovers and assignment confusion on faceoffs. It nearly happened a third time with the score at 3-2 in the third period. There were other occasions in which the Flyers yielded a little too much time and space, and Eliott had to come up with tough saves.
At the other end of the ice, the Flyers established a good forecheck. Farabee's goal came about because of pressure off the forecheck. Allison's first goal was scored off a cross-corner dump by Oskar Lindblom that bounced perfectly off the end boards to the oncoming right winger, who ripped a shot past Vitek Vanecek. The second Allison goal, on a delayed penalty against Washington, was scored at the net as he batted home the aerial rebound of a Myers wraparound.
The Flyers went 0-for-2 on the power play on Friday, dropping to just 2-for-17 on the man advantage against the Caps this season. They did manage to kill off their only penalty of the game. The Caps had been 7-for-14 on power plays against Philly this season.
Alex Lyon will get the start in goal on Saturday. He's coming off a victory against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday in Philadelphia. The rest of the lineup may look the same.
The Capitals enter this game two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (75 to 73) for first place in the East Division but still hold one game in hand. The Penguins were idle on Friday and will complete their 2020-21 regular season schedule on Saturday afternoon against Buffalo.
Daniel Sprong (13th) and T.J. Oshie (22nd) scored in a losing cause for Washington on Friday. Vanecek stopped 25 of 28 shots.
The Caps remain short-handed personnel wise. As of Friday, Evgeny Kuznetsov and goalie Ilya Samsonov remained in COVID-19 protocol and defenseman Justin Schultz was day-to-day with a lower-body injury. Schultz has been skating and is close to returning. The team is likely to remain without future Hall of Fame winger Alex Ovechkin (lower-body injury) for the return match with the Flyers.
There was a scary moment in Friday's game when Tom Wilson landed on teammate Conor Sheary's leg and Sheary painfully made it off the ice and headed down the tunnel. He subsequently returned to the game.
(will be updated)
28 Claude Giroux -14 Sean Couturier - 11 Travis Konecny
86 Joel Farabee - 13 Kevin Hayes - 93 Jakub Voracek
25 James van Riemsdyk - 21 Scott Laughton - 62 Nicolas Aube-Kubel
23 Oskar Lindblom - 19 Nolan Patrick - 57 Wade Allison
9 Ivan Provorov - 6 Travis Sanheim
45 Cam York - 61 Justin Braun
55 Samuel Morin - 5 Phil Myers
34 Alex Lyon
[37 Brian Elliott]
PP1: Giroux, Couturier, Allison, Voracek, York
PP2: Hayes, Farabee, JVR, Konecny, Provorov
Scratches: 8 Robert Hägg (healthy), 59 Jackson Cates (healthy), 79 Carter Hart (MCL sprain, out for the remainder of the season).
NHL suspension: Shayne Gostisbehere (suspended for May 7 and 8 games).
Injured reserve: 48 Morgan Frost (shoulder surgery), 58 Tanner Laczynski (hip surgery).
COVID-19 protocol: None.
39 Anthony Mantha - 19 Nicklas Bäckström - 43 Tom Wilson
73 Conor Sheary - 20 Lars Eller - 77 T.J. Oshie
28 Daniel Carr - 17 Michael Raffl - 10 Daniel Sprong
62 Carl Hagelin - 26 Nic Dowd - 21 Garnet Hathaway
9 Dmitry Orlov - 74 John Carlson
4 Brenden Dillon - 57 Trevor van Riemsdyk
33 Zdeno Chara - 3 Nick Jensen
31 Craig Anderson
[41 Vitek Vanecek]
PP1: Wilson, Bäckström, Oshie, Sprong, Carlson
PP2: Sheary, Eller, Mantha, Orlov, [Schultz, if available]
Scratches: 2 Justin Schultz (lower body, day-to-day), 8 Alex Ovechkin (lower-body), 31 Craig Anderson (healthy).
Injured reserve: 47 Beck Malenstyn (Achilles tendon repair surgery), 35 Henrik Lundqvist (open heart surgery).
COVID-10 protocol: 92 Evgeny Kuznetsov, 30 Ilya Samsonov.