Dec 15, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Matt Read (24) skates with the puck as Washington Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom (19) chases in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers, Washington Capitals Preview

The Philadelphia Flyers will get a second crack at the Washington Capitals tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.

The orange and black are coming off a humiliating third-period meltdown against the Capitals. Tuesday night could be a nice opportunity to avenge the loss and maybe, just maybe, they will quiet Pat Sajak.

There is not much the Flyers should change from Sunday’s contest. They played hard and physical for 50 minutes, then they sat back and let the Capitals storm back for three goals to tie the game.

The Raffl-Giroux-Voracek line needs to continue putting offensive pressure in the zone. Since head coach Craig Berube swapped Raffl and Scott Hartnell, the top line has taken a 180. The top unit combined for six points in the loss to the Capitals and has scored 11 points – four goals, seven assists – in the two games they’ve played with one another. Individually, over the course of these two games, Claude Giroux has two goals and four points, Michael Raffl has a goal and four points and Jakub Voracek has three points. That line has found some chemistry together, and the Flyers will need them to click once again.

The defensive unit, as well as the Sean Couturier line, will have to contain Alex Ovechkin. (The reason I say contain is because Ovechkin has 27 goals in 31 games. He could score 50 in 50, which has not happened since Mario Lemieux did it – unofficially – during the 1995-96 season.)

Whenever Ovechkin has the puck, the Flyers have to get in his face and not allow him to get a good look at the net. Several years ago, during the first-round of the playoffs, the Flyers effectively neutralized Ovechkin by doing this.

Steve Mason will start tonight for the Flyers. Mason looked very good Sunday afternoon until the last ten minutes of the third period. Although Mason did give up three goals, the last of them does fall on him, each of those were redirected by his own defensemen and were not pure shots. Despite recent subpar outings, Mason does not seem to be bothered by it at all, which is a good sign for his mentality.

The Flyers had 50 minutes of good, sound hockey. If they can muster up the same effort, they will be on the winning side of tonight.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:30.


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Tags: Claude Giroux Jakub Voracek Michael Raffl Philadelphia Flyers Steve Mason

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