Game 3 of this series between the Capitals and Flyers went Over after it got out of hand early, with Philadelphia scoring three first-period goals. In this crucial game for both teams however, look for both teams to be conservative early, with the end-result more closely resembling the Flyers’ 2-0 victory in Game 2 than the shootouts in the other two games. Also look for Ovechkin to continue to be shut down and for Biron to come up big in goal.
[articleBanner]who2beton[/articleBanner]The Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers have gone Over in two of the first three games of this series, but we expect tonight’s game to closely resemble Game 2, which was won by Philadelphia 2-0.
Game 3 got out of hand early when the Flyers scored three goals in the first period, putting the Capitals in an offensive posture in the early stages. With their playoff lives virtually on the line here, we look for Washington to be more defensive at the outset, knowing they could ill afford to fall behind early with a possible 3-1 series deficit staring them in the face.
It is not as if the Capitals can’t play defense, as they allowed three goals or less in each of their last seven regular season games including allowing two goals or less in five of them, and they were certainly stingy in that 2-0 loss in Game 2. In fact, the Under is surprisingly 45-37 in all Washington games this year, as the presence of Alexander Ovechkin has probably in inflated their totals a bit.
Speaking of Ovechkin, the Flyers have done an amazing job of shutting him down this series, and tonight may be another struggle for him as Flyers defenseman Kimmo Timonen will be playing after leaving Game 3 early with a shoulder injury. Besides shutting down Ovechkin, the Flyers have gotten some nice goaltending from Marty Biron in this series, whose shutout in Game 2 was his sixth of the year.
Thus, we look for both teams to be defensive-minded for at least the first period, and probably longer for the Flyers as they continue to concentrate of stopping Ovechkin. Thus, as long as the Flyers don’t get any cheap early goals, we do not see these teams exceeding five combined goals tonight.
Free Pick: Capitals, Flyers Under 5½ (-120)