Wednesday Night Hockey Pre-Game Notes: Capitals Visit Philly For The First Time This Season

WTOP.jpgPhoto: WTOP

The Washington Capitals clash with the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday Night for just the second time this season and the first of three in a span of 19 days. The Capitals took the first meeting between the two teams by a score of 5-3 on January 8 at Capital One Arena. Action from Wells Fargo Center can be seen on NBCSN beginning at 7:30 PM ET.

Capitals

  • play the final game of a three-game Metropolitan Road Trip (19-12-2 road record)
  • Enter the game on a four-game winning streak and winners in six out of their past seven (6-1-0)
  • Captain Alex Ovechkin leads NHL with 45 goals and the Capitals with 75 points
  • Defenseman John Carlson leads Capitals with 47 assists
  • 11-4-2 since a season-long seven-game losing streak
  • Their 24-10-4 record against Eastern Conference opponents is good for the second-most points (52) against the East this season (Tampa Bay Lightning: 70 points in 40 games)
  • Wednesday’s game is the third of a four-game stretch against opponents within the division
  • They continue a stretch where they play six of seven against Metropolitan Division foes and are 12-6-2 in games against their division this season
  • Forward Andre Burakovsky scored a goal in the Capitals’ 3-2 shootout victory against the New York Rangers on Sunday, which marked his fifth point (two goals) in his last seven games
  • Their 3.36 goals-per-game average is tied with the Winnipeg Jets for the sixth-highest in the NHL
  • Their 21.1% power-play efficiency is tied with the Chicago Blackhawks for 10th in the NHL
  • 23rd in the NHL with a penalty-killing rate of 78.5%
  • Have allowed five goals in their past three games
  • Tied with New York Islanders for Metropolitan Division lead with 83 points (Islanders own a game in hand)
  • Starting goaltender: Braden Holtby (24-16-4 with a save percentage of .909, a goals-against average of 2.94, and two shutouts this season); career vs. PHI – 9-4-8 with a save percentage of .912, a goals-against average of 2.52, and two shutouts

Flyers

  • Have league’s best record (16-3-2) since January 14 and are 10-2-1 in their past 13 games
  • seven points out of playoff spot, though they own a game in hand on the Montreal Canadiens, who own the second wild-card in the Eastern Conference
  • lone home game in a span of five games (17-12-4 home record)
  • Forward Claude Giroux leads Flyers with 51 assists and 70 points
  • After recording 31 goals and 76 points last season (both career-highs), center Sean Couturier leads the Flyers with 27 goals this year
  • Acquired forward Ryan Hartman, who has 10 goals, 21 points, and a +7 rating in 68 games this season (including one assist in four games with the Flyers), and a 2020 fourth-round pick from Nashville Predators in exchange for forward Wayne Simmonds at the trade deadline
  • 12th in NHL with 3.02 goals-per-game average
  • average of 3.30 goals-against per game average is the fifth-highest in the NHL
  • 20th in NHL with power-play efficiency of 17.7%
  • 77.5% penalty-killing rate is the fifth-worst in the NHL
  • First in NHL with faceoff winning percentage of 55.2%
  • Expected starter: Brian Elliott (9-7-1 with a save percentage of .920, a goals-against average of 2.50, and one shutout this season); career vs. WSH: 8-5-0, save percentage of .895, a goals-against average of 3.05

More From Caps’ Game Notes

-Center Nicklas Backstrom has registered 51 points (34 assists) in 42 career games against the Flyers, the third most against any team

Through 66 games this season, the Capitals are 38-21-7, one win and two points ahead of last season’s total

Holtby is currently one win shy of 250 career wins and is aiming to become the second fastest goaltender in NHL history to reach the mark (409th career game), trailing only Ken Dryden (381 career games)

Flashback Game

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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