This evening the Philadelphia Flyers will take on the Washington Capitals for the second half of a home and home and for the fifth time this season. The Flyers are 2-1-1, as are the Capitals, in the previous four meetings. Both teams have watched the other stage a third period come back against them this year and both teams have lost/won a game with relative ease. The Capitals 7-0 beatdown in the first game will not soon be forgotten. Tonight’s game time is 8:00pm and will be televised on NBC Sports Network.
On Sunday afternoon the Flyers showed a lot of heart. After an ugly start the Flyers fell behind by leads of 1-0, 2-1, and 4-2. In the third period the Flyers were able to stage a tremendous comeback to force overtime and eventually win the game. The Flyers sit just two points ahead of the Capitals in the divisional standings yet the Flyers are 2nd and the Capitals are 5th. Only three points separate 2nd-6th place, so every point matters in these divisional games.
This game will be marked by the new faces on both teams. Yesterday the Capitals received forward Dustin Penner from the Anaheim Ducks for a 4th round draft choice. The Capitals then traded winger Martin Erat, who had requested a trade, and AHLer John Mitchell to Phoenix for depth defenseman Rostislav Klesla, forward prospect Chris Brown, and a 4th round pick. They also registered one of the last trades of the deadline, acquiring goaltender Jaroslav Halak and a 2015 3rd round draft pick from the Buffalo Sabres. The Capitals sent back up goalie Michael Neuvrith and (recently acquired) Rostislav Klesla to Buffalo. Halak is unlikely to start tonight, but he should give the Capitals a formidable force in net for the stretch run.
Yesterday, the Flyers traded a 3rd round draft pick in 2014 and a 2nd round draft pick in 2015 to the New York Islanders for minute-eating defenseman Andrew MacDonald. For more on the deal, look here. This afternoon the Flyers traded away defenseman Andrej Meszaros to the Boston Bruins for a conditional 2014 3rd round draft pick. Read more about that trade here. At Flyers practice this morning, the defense pairings were Timonen-Coburn, Streit-Grossmann, and MacDonald-LSchenn. Look for them to be the same during tonights game.
The Flyers will likely start goaltender Steve Mason. Ray Emery continues to be out with a mild injury and Cal Heeter has once again been recalled to the Philadelphia Flyers.