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FIVE THINGS: Flyers vs Washington Capitals

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
Philadelphia Flyers (3-8-0--6pts)

  Washington Capitals (5-7-0--10pts)

  GAME NOTES  I Preview

This is the first of five meetings of the season against the Caps and first of three on home ice and the 100th meeting on home-ice for the Flyers against the Capitals (61-30-6-2)… The Caps will be without their leading scorer, Alex Ovechkin, who is sidelined with an upper-body injury… Last season, the Flyers went 2-1-0 against the Caps, winning the last two meetings, both of which were at home… The Flyers own a 6-3-1 record on home ice against the Caps since the 2008-09 season… Following tonight's game, the Flyers will play five of their next seven games on the road.

The Flyers and Caps come into tonight's game as two of the best penalty-killing teams in the NHL… The Flyers are ranked 6th in the NHL on the penalty kill at 84.4 percent (38-for-45) and the Caps own the NHL's 2nd best penalty kill at 90.7 percent (39-for-43)… The Flyers have not allowed a goal on the PK in their last 12 times shorthanded over the last five games, while the Caps are perfect on the penalty kill over their last seven games, going 24-for-24 during that stretch.

Steve Downie will make his debut tonight since being acquired from the Avalanche yesterday - As a rookie, Downie posted 12 points (6g-6a) in 32 games with the Flyers in 2007-08… This is the fifth and final game of the Caps road trip in which they are 2-2-0, however they have had the last three days off from game action… Claude Giroux has posted an assist in five of his last six games, including his last two - he has six assists in that span… Matt Read has a three-game goal-scoring streak - he has had only one four-game span in which he has scored a goal, which was a 5-game goal-scoring streak in 2011-12 (Nov. 13-21)… The Flyers have scored 50% of their goals (10 of 20) in the first period.

4. Player to watch FLYERS: Vincent Lecavalier - (C) #40
For the second straight game Lecavalier is your player to look out for… He has scored in two straight games, posting four goals in that span… He has five goals in his first eight games this season, marking the first time he has done that since the 2008-09 season… Lecavalier leads the team in points (7) and goals (5) and second in shots on goal (26) having played just eight games so far… Against the Caps, he has 34 goals and 70 points in 77 career games.

5. Player to watch CAPITALS: Nicklas Backstrom - (C) #19
Backstrom ranks second on the team in scoring with 12 points and is tied for the team lead in assists (10)… He has seven of his 12 points on the power-play (1ppg-1ppa)… Against the Flyers he's had plenty of success… In his career, Backstrom averages over an assist per game and 1.52 points-per-game with nine goals and 23 assists in just 21 games against the Flyers.

"Its the fans. It's very exciting, even as a road team, to play. It's very intimidating. It's an exciting place to play."
- Steve Downie on playing in Philadelphia
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