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Battle of East's best pits Capitals against Flyers

by Adam Kimelman
FLYERS (12-6-2) at CAPITALS (14-5-1)
Last 10 --
Philadelphia 7-2-1; Washington 8-1-1
Season series --
This is the second of four meetings between the teams this season. In their first meeting, Nov. 7 in Washington, Mike Green's overtime goal gave the Capitals a 3-2 victory.
Big Story -- The two best teams in the Eastern Conference square off at Verizon Center. Washington's 29 points lead the NHL and Philadelphia's 26 are tied for second with Detroit.
Team Scope:

Flyers -- It looked more like a football score than a hockey score Thursday when the Lightning came to Philadelphia. The teams combined for nine goals in the first period, the most in the first period of any NHL game in 18 years, and the 15 goals scored in the game came from 12 different players.
The Flyers also wasted three two-goal leads, including a 7-5 advantage midway through the second period.
"That's when you've got to button it down and lock it in, force them into situations that they don't want to be in, cheating and what not, trying to get goals, and from that you're going to gain a lot of offensive opportunities," defenseman Chris Pronger said. "But we let it slip away."
Capitals -- Washington's two-game win streak was snapped Friday night with a 5-0 loss in Atlanta. It was the first time the Caps have been shut out since Dec. 9, 2009, by the Buffalo Sabres.
Coach Bruce Boudreau called it "probably as bad a defeat as I've had since I've been here," and forward Brooks Laich said the best way to get past this one is to forget it and move along.
"Sometimes you have to play this game with a little bit of amnesia," Laich said. "It wasn't a good game, we know that. … Little bit of amnesia … push it aside and move forward."
Who's Hot --
Flyers captain Mike Richards has at least a point in 10 of his last 12 games, totaling 7 goals and 8 assists in that span. … Capitals forward Alexander Semin had his nine-game point streak snapped Friday. He had 9 goals and 6 assists during his streak.
Injury Report -- Flyers forward Daniel Carcillo is out for at least two weeks with a sprained left knee. Goalie Michael Leighton (back) and defenseman Matt Walker (hip) are continuing to practice while recovering from injuries that have sidelined them all season. … Capitals forward Mike Knuble suffered an upper-body injury Friday, and Boudreau said "he'll be out for a little while from what I gathered." Goalie Semyon Varlamov and defenseman Tom Poti both are out with groin injuries.
Stat Pack -- The Flyers' Sean O'Donnell might be the best No. 6 defenseman in the League. In 20 games, he has 3 assists and a League-best plus-15 rating.
Puck Drop -- The Capitals' power play generally is pretty dependable -- it had scored an extra-man goal in six of the last nine games entering Friday, and in that span went 8-0-1. However, it went 0-for-3 Friday.
"Our team usually goes as our power play goes," Laich said. "If we score on the power play, we end up scoring four or five goals in a game, usually. We didn't score any tonight, consequently we didn't score any goals."

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