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Flyers ready for emotional Game 3

Tribute to late owner Ed Snider will be held prior to key game against Capitals

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / Deputy Managing Editor


Eastern Conference First Round

Washington leads best-of-7 series 2-0

7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-DC, CSN-PH

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers are expected to have extra energy at the start of Game 3 of the Eastern Conference First Round against the Washington Capitals at Wells Fargo Center on Monday.

There will be a pregame ceremony honoring founding owner and team chairman Ed Snider, who died April 11.

It's managing that emotion that will be the key. 

"We're here to win a hockey game," captain Claude Giroux said. "We have a game plan for it, we have to follow it. Obviously we're going to have a little more emotion before the game. When the puck drops we just have to worry about the game."

One thing the Flyers know they have to worry about is creating more traffic in front of Capitals goalie Braden Holtby.  

"We have to make a better effort of battling and being more physical, and getting to the front of the net," forward Ryan White said. "Getting some chaos in front of that guy. ... He's such an aggressive goalie, he's out in front of the blue paint all the time, and anything he doesn't see seems to hit him. We have to get more traffic in there and start winning some battles at the net and see what happens."

The Flyers tried to use their speed to get position in front of the net in the first two games. For Game 3, they plan to take a more direct approach.

"We need to go the hard routes, go through guys, go inside of them," White said. "Right now we're skating to the outside and trying to use our speed. They're too big and strong and we can't get inside of them. You have to go through the meat of them, drive them back, push them back to the front of the net and get some chaos in there. Try and go right through them."

The Capitals have used more smart positional play rather than brute force to move the Flyers out of their preferred locations. 

"We just try to box out early," defenseman Karl Alzner said. "We try and not get beat back to the net from the corner and halfwall. We've played them enough that we know that's how they play. Any team that puts guys at the front of the net has success. That's just what you have to do. For us it's trying to get into guys early, and if we can't get into them early then it's block shots."

The Flyers' approach to traffic at the net extends to their power play as well. 

"We're getting there," forward Wayne Simmonds said. "We just have to keep going. Sometimes you take the outside track thinking it's a little easier, thinking you'll get there quicker. You can take the inside track and it might be a battle between two guys but then it's a double screen. It's continuing to do what we did last game. We started to do a little bit better last game. We just have to get better at it."

Although the Capitals have won the first two games of the series, they believe they can be better in Game 3.

"Our first game was all right," center Nicklas Backstrom said. "But we haven't played great in the first period yet. That's something we have to work on. We have to stay out of the [penalty] box, that's going to be real important, especially tonight."

In Game 1, the Flyers had three power plays in the first period. In Game 2 they had a 5-on-3 power play for 1:07 late in the first. 

Washington has killed all eight Philadelphia power plays in the series but the players know that eventually undisciplined play will come back to haunt them.

"We took too many penalties," captain Alex Ovechkin said. "Have to stay out of box. ... We can't have five or six penalties in the game." 

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Mike Richards - Marcus Johansson

Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson

Nate Schmidt - Dmitry Orlov

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: None

Scratched: Mike Weber, Stanislav Galiev, Michael Latta, Taylor Chorney


Jakub Voracek - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Michael Raffl - Brayden Schenn - Scott Laughton

Matt Read - Nick Cousins - Sam Gagner

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White

Nick Schultz - Mark Streit

Andrew MacDonald - Shayne Gostisbehere

Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas

Steve Mason

Michal Neuvirth

Injured: Michael Del Zotto (wrist), Sean Couturier (upper body)

Scratched: R.J. Umberger, Jordan Weal, Evgeny Medvedev, Colin McDonald

Status report: It appears the Capitals will have no lineups changes for Game 3. ... McDonald was recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League on Sunday but Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said he will not play. Hakstol said he'll use the same lineup from Game 2.

Who's hot: Johansson had two assists in each of the first two games.

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