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FIVE THINGS: Flyers at Washington Capitals

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
 

T he Flyers hit the road for the first time since Jan. 19 at Islanders, a span of 19 days…They have earned points in nine of their last 13 games, posting an 8-4-1 record since Jan. 6… 10 of the last 16 Flyers games have been decided by one goal… Washington comes into today having won it’s last three games… 10 of their last 12 games have been decided by one goal… The Caps have earned a point in 12 of their last 13 home games dating back to Dec. 11, posting a 10—1-2 record and outscored opponents 38-23 during that span… Today’s game features three of the Top 4 players leading the league in assists (Voracek, Backstrom and Giroux)… The Caps have 25 of their 28 victories when scoring the game’s first goal, going 25-1-4, but have not won a game this season when trailing after two periods of play, going 0-10-2… The Flyers are unbeaten in regulation when leading after the second period, going 13-0-1 .



T his is the third of four meetings against the two teams this year with each team splitting the first two games winning on home ice and both games against the Caps have been decided by one goal… Matt Read and defenseman Nick Schultz lead the Flyers with two points, all assists, in the two games, while defenseman Mike Green leads Washington with two assists in the series thus far… The last four meetings against the two teams in Washington have been decided by one goal… Today is also a match up of two teams in the Top 5 on the power-play this year - The Flyers are fourth overall in the NHL at 23.3%, while the Capitals are third overall at 23.4%… Alex Ovechkin has 16 goals in his last 18 games- he is tied for 1st in the NHL in goals (32) and game-winning goals (7)… Sean Couturier has 15 of his 23 points while on the road this season .



W ashington defensemen have earned a point in 21 of their last 23 games and the Capitals rank third in the NHL in points by defensemen this season (117)… Flyers defensemen have scored a goal in seven straight games, dating back to Jan. 17… In that seven-game span, the Flyers have received 19 points (8g-11a) from their defense… Washington goaltender Braden Holtby has allowed just two goals in his last four starts, stopping 108 of 110 shots he has faced… Holtby has appeared in 45 of the Caps 53 games this season posting a 25-10-9 record with a 2.14 GAA and .925 save percentage… Flyers goaltender Steve Mason is 3-0-1 since returning from injury after the All-Star break and has stopped 116 of 121 shots he has faced to record a .959 save percentage and a 1.25 goals-against average… He is tied (with Holtby) for fourth in the NHL in overall save pct (.925) .



V
andeVelde has been the hottest goal producer for the Flyers as of late… He has six goals in his last 10 games to lead the Flyers in that stretch… VandeVelde has appeared in 42 of 48 games since being recalled by the Flyers on Oct. 16 and averages nearly 10 minutes of ice-time per-game (9:59) playing with Vincent Lecavalier and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare… In his fifth season in the NHL, VandeVelde has posted career-highs in games played (42), goals (8), assists (5) and points (13)… VandeVelde has one assist in two games of the season series this year against the Capitals .


Backstrom leads the Capitals in scoring with 54 points, which also ranks fifth in the NHL’s scoring race… He leads the team in assists (38) which is third in the NHL this season, and since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, Backstrom ranks third in the League in assists (404), trailing only Henrik Sedin (451) and Joe Thornton (433)… Recently, Backstrom has been held scoreless the last two games - he has not gone three straight games without a point since Nov. 14-18, which is the only time he has gone three straight without a point this year… Against the Flyers, Backstrom averages over a point per-game with 41 points and assist per-game with 29 assists in 28 career meetings.


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