Flyers’ Season Success vs. Capitals Will End on Wednesday

Matthew Jordan

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 5:04 PM UTC

Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 5:04 PM UTC

The division-rival Flyers and Capitals come out of the All-Star break with very different playoff agendas as they square off Wednesday night in D.C. (8 ET, NBC Sports Network).

Philadelphia Flyers at Washington CapitalsFree NHL Pick: CapitalsBest Line Offered: BetOnline

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Just three games on the NHL schedule Wednesday, and the Flyers-Capitals matchup from Capital One Arena in the nation’s capital has an 8 p.m. ET start and is nationally televised on the NBC Sports Network.

It’s the third of four regular-season meetings between Philadelphia and Washington, with them concluding the series March 18 in the City of Brotherly Love. The Flyers have surprisingly won both so far. It was 8-2 in Philly on Oct. 14 – the most goals scored allowed this season by Washington and the Flyers’ home opener. Scott Laughton, Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier each scored twice for the Flyers, and it was Laughton’s first career two-goal game. Jakub Voracek was the game’s No. 1 star with three assists. Brian Elliott was in net for Philadelphia, and Philipp Grubauer was the unfortunate goaltender for the Caps.

On Jan. 21 in Washington, the Flyers won 2-1 in overtime. Travis Konecny scored just 27 seconds into OT and Elliott had 27 saves. Alex Ovechkin had the Washington goal and Braden Holtby was in net.

The ‘under’ is 5-1-3 in the past nine meetings. The Flyers are 2-5 in their past seven in D.C.

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First-Round Playoff Preview?

It’s quite possible that Philadelphia-Washington is a first-round playoff matchup. The Capitals lead the Metropolitan Division with 63 points, and I believe they will win that yet again. They are -111 NHL betting favorites to do so at Sports Interaction. Can they catch the Lightning for the East’s top seed? The Flyers are battling for a wild-card spot after missing the postseason in 2016-17 with 88 points.

Washington (29-15-5) ended a three-game skid in its final outing before the All-Star break, a 4-2 victory in Florida. Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season and became only the sixth player in league history with at least 30 goals in 13 or more consecutive seasons. The Russian is on track to win a seventh career Rocket Richard Trophy, which does to the league’s top goal-scorer each season. Ovi also got his 500th career assist in that win. During the All-Star festivities, he won the Hardest Shot Competition, too, becoming the first forward to do so since countryman Sergei Fedorov in 2002.

Should be Holtby in net, and he’s 25-9-2 with a 2.66 goals-against average and .917 save percentage. Nice numbers but not quite as good as the past three seasons. He won the Vezina Trophy in 2015-16. Holtby has played 21 games against the Flyers in his career and is 8-4-8 with a 2.50 GAA and .916 SV.

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Join us in wishing our friends next door good luck this weekend! Go @Eagles​!! #FlyEaglesFly #BrotherlyLove

— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 30, 2018

Philadelphia (24-17-8) has won eight of 10 but lost at home to Tampa Bay last Thursday 5-1 to enter the break. Backup Michal Neuvirth got the start in net with No. 1 Elliott sidelined with an undisclosed injury. Elliott was placed on injured reserve Tuesday and thus won’t play here so it should be Neuvirth again. He’s 5-6-1 with a 2.46 GAA and .918 SV. Alex Lyon has been called up by Philadelphia to serve as the current No. 2.

Offensively, the Flyers are led by wingers Giroux (14 goals, 43 assists) and Voracek (nine goals, 47 assists). They rank 17th in scoring but ninth on the power play (20.7 percent). Washington is 18th on the penalty kill (80.2 percent).

The Flyers have had the Caps’ number this season, but that was with Elliott in net. Take Washington on your Wednesday NHL pick against Neuvirth, perhaps even on the goal line.

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