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Wednesday night doubleheader features streaks

by John Kreiser

For the second time in as many weeks, NBCSN's Wednesday Night Rivalry presented by Coors Light features an East-West doubleheader.

The Capitals and Flyers open the night when they renew hostilities at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. The nightcap features the Detroit Red Wings opening a road trip with a visit to Los Angeles. Both games can be seen on the NBC Sports Network in the United States and TSN2 in Canada.

Though they're not in the same division, the Flyers and Capitals are separated by a mere 120 miles -- and though the Flyers dominated the early years of the series, the Caps have made up some ground in since the arrival of Alex Ovechkin eight years ago. Detroit's recent domination of its series with the Kings has moved the Red Wings back in front in their all-time series, which began in 1967.

Alex Ovechkin
Left Wing - WSH
GOALS: 8 | ASST: 7 | PTS: 15
SOG: 75 | +/-: -6

Here's a statistical look at Wednesday Night Rivalry doubleheader:

Flyers' domination has waned -- Though the Capitals won the first of the three meetings this season, they've historically had a tough time with the Flyers. Philadelphia has won 102 and tied 19 of the 194 regular-season meetings. However, the Capitals have had the better of play since the arrival of Alex Ovechkin in 2005 -- they've won 16 of the 29 games played since then, including six of the nine decided in overtime or a shootout.

The Capitals have won just 32 of their 99 games in Philadelphia -- but they've taken eight of 14 since 2005.

One outcome that would be very unusual would be a shutout by the Capitals -- they've never blanked the Flyers in the Wells Fargo Center and haven't posted a shutout in Philadelphia since a 3-0 victory at the Spectrum on March 28, 1991, thanks to a 21-save performance by Don Beaupre.

Too much Ovi -- It's no accident that Washington's success against Philadelphia improved after the arrival of Ovechkin -- the Flyers have had trouble stopping him. Though he didn't hit the scoresheet in Washington's 3-2 win against the Flyers on Feb. 1, Ovechkin has 23 goals and 38 points in 27 career games against Philadelphia. That's more goals and points than he's had against any other non-divisional opponent except the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Nick's knack -- As well as Ovechkin has played against the Flyers, center Nicklas Backstrom has done even more damage to Philadelphia since arriving in the NHL in 2007. Backstrom has eight goals and 23 assists for 31 points in just 19 career games against Philadelphia, including a goal and an assist in the victory at Washington earlier this month. He's had more points against the Flyers than against any team not in the Southeast Division.

The Red Wings and Kings have played 188 regular-season games since L.A. entered the NHL in 1967, and they're about as close to even as you can get. (Photo: Dave Reginek/NHLI)

Wings on the rise vs. Kings -- Detroit and Los Angeles have played 188 regular-season games since the Kings entered the NHL in 1967, and they're about as close to even as you can get. The Red Wings' 3-2 victory in Detroit on Feb. 10 was their 81st against the Kings, who've won 80 times. The other 27 games ended in ties. But the Red Wings have dominated the series since the start of the 21st century. Detroit won 12 in a row from Feb. 24, 2003, through the end of 2006, lost 4-2 in Los Angeles on Jan. 6, 2007, then went 9-0-1 in the next 10 meetings.

Live from L.A. -- Since the Kings' arrival in Los Angeles 46 years ago, they've won 45 times in the Red Wings' 94 visits, with 14 other games ending in ties. But L.A.'s advantage has faded in the past decade. Since the start of 2003, Detroit has won 13 of its 17 games in Los Angeles.

Not Quick enough -- Kings' goaltender Jonathan Quick was the losing goaltender in Detroit's 3-2 victory at Joe Louis Arena 17 days ago, with the Red Wings scoring the game-winner with 4.5 seconds remaining in regulation. The loss dropped the reigning Conn Smythe Trophy winner's career record against Detroit to 6-10-0 with a 3.16 goals-against average. It's the most regulation losses he's had against any team, and his GAA against Detroit is his worst against any team he's faced more than three times.

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