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Game Day: Flyers Host Undefeated Capitals

Tonight, the Philadelphia Flyers (4-0-1) will get their turn to hand the undefeated Washington Capitals (5-0-0) their first loss of the season. The Capitals enter Philly fresh off a 3-0 shutout of the Florida Panthers. It was their first shutout of the season, and more importantly, the first for Tomas Vokoun as a Washington Capital.

The Flyers faced the pitiful Ottawa Senators on Tuesday night and served them a 7-2 beat down. Flyers' rookies Sean Couturier and Harry Zolnierczyk scored their first NHL goal in this game.The last time that feat was accomplished by the Flyers was in 2000, when Justin Williams and Peter Hubacek did it against the Vancouver Canucks.
The Washington Capitals are off to the best start in their franchise's history and will look to extend that record tonight. The Flyers are 58-31-6 at home versus the Capitals and 97-71-19 all time. The Flyers and Capitals split their four games last season with all of them going into OT and two reaching shootouts.
The Caps are 7-1-2 in their last eleven meetings in "The City of Brotherly Love". Both these teams upgraded their goaltending positions in the offseason and will undoubtedly face each other tonight. Bryzgalov has faced Ovechkin only a couple of times, keeping him to just one assist.
Speaking of Ovechkin, he has just one goal and two assists in five games this season. Nicklas Backstrom has grabbed four points in his last three games. He leads the team with 6 points, one goal and five assists. He is followed by Alexander Semin and Dennis Wideman who both have two goals and three assists. The Capitals have spread their scoring throughout the lineup as they have gotten goals from ten different players on their roster.
It's no surprise that Claude Giroux leads the Flyers with seven points, four goals and three assists. He is followed closely by Chris Pronger with six points, one goal and five assists. He has five points in his last five games.
Matt Read also has six points, two goals and four assists. He picked up three of those points Tuesday against the Senators.
The Flyers have scored nineteen goals in their five games this season and lead the league in goals for with 3.80 per game. The Caps are right behind the Flyers averaging 3.40 goals per game.
These two teams are pretty close when it comes to the stats. The Caps are stronger on the power play with a 29.4% success rate, while the Flyers connect at a 26.7%.
The Flyers moved up one spot in faceoff percentage, to 28th in the league winning 45% of their draws in Ottawa. The Caps are winning 49% of their faceoffs.
In The Nets
Ilya Bryzgalov will get the nod in net for the Flyers tonight. He is 3-0-1 with a 1.99 GAA and a .927 SV% with 1 shutout. Bryzgalov won his only meeting against the Caps last season while playing for the Coyotes.
The Capitals will start Thomas Vokoun 4-0 with a 1.94 GAA and a .935 SV% and one shutout. He is 4-6-1 in his last eleven starts versus the Flyers.
On The Move
Jody Shelley is now off suspension and may or may not be in the lineup depending on who the Capitals dress tonight. The Flyers also called up Brayden Schenn who many believe could make a run at the Calder Trophy. He finished his four game stint with the Phantoms with eight points, good for second in the league.
It will be interesting to see where laviolette will put him. Hartnell may fall down to the fourth line, (couldn't pass that up) losing even more playing time. With those two additions, the Flyers sent Zach Rinaldo and Harry Zolnierczyk to the Phantoms, both had decent games in Ottawa. Check out more HERE from Kim Pollock.
What Do You Think ?
Will Schenn get his first NHL point tonight ?
Who will be the better goalie Bryzgalov or Vokoun ?
Will this game be decided in regulation, Overtime, or Shootout ?
Leave your predictions in the comment section
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Mark Trible's picture

I say no to Schenn's first point, Bryzgalov better, and overtime. 4-3 Flyers win.

dematt10's picture

Yes to Schenn. Bryz better. 4-3 Philly win in regulation. Sad that Rinaldo isn't playing - wanted to see him go after Ovie a la Drew Doughty.

John Russo's picture

Will Schenn get his first NHL point tonight? - I think yes, depending on the line he's on (has it been announced?)

Who will be the better goalie Bryzgalov or Vokoun? - Bryz because he is the better goalie. Vokoun is great but Bryz is bound for another 0-1 goal performance.

Will this game be decided in regulation, Overtime, or Shootout? - 3-1, Flyers. Hartnell, Giroux and Jagr get tallies for the Flyers. Green for the Caps.

scowpert's picture

Schenn won't get a point.
Bryz will play better but it don't be pretty for either goalie.
5-4 Flyers OT

Adam Pardes's picture

Just to be that guy, Caps 1-0. Mike Green PPG.

John Russo's picture

I find it very interesting that Scott Hartnell is a +4 and he has been invisible through the first 5 games.

Mark Trible's picture

Look at his linemates Smile