Pregame #21: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers (11/20/10)

Washington Capitals (14-5-1) at Philadelphia Flyers (12-6-2)
Verizon Center
Time: 7:00 pm
TV: Comcast SportsNet  (Game On!)
Radio: 820AM, 1500AM and XM
Previous Games:
Nov 7, 2010 PHI@WSH 3-2 W (OT)
Games Remaining:
Jan 18 2011  WSH@PHI, 7:00 PM ET
Mar 22, 2011 WSH@PHI, 7:30 PM ET
Familiar Faces of Former Capitals:  (none)
The Enemy:
Flyers Goal Scored By…
Broad Street Hockey

In a clash of the titans, the #1 team in the East, the Washington Capitals, will face off against the #2 team in the East, the Philadelphia Flyers.  The Flyers will be looking to get back at the Capitals for their defeat two weeks ago.  The Flyers have been finding creative ways to lose lately, having lost 3-0 in Montreal on Tuesday and 8-7 at home versus the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.  The Capitals will be finishing off the second of back-to-back games and the 3rd game in four nights.  Even with last night’s clunker, they have been on a roll in the last 10 games at 8-1-1.  

Injury Report: The Capitals still expect to be without defenseman Tom Poti (groin) and goalie Semyon Varlamov (groin) with their long-term injuries.  Winger Mike Knuble left last night’s game after taking a puck to the face and the team is non-specific as to how long he will be out.  The Flyers will be without defenseman Matt Walker (hip surgery) and wingers Ian Laperriere (concussion) and Daniel Carcillo (sprained knee). 

Don’t let Snoopy down. Read on!

Things To Watch For:

Squadron Leader: Team Captain Mike Richards has been hot, scoring 5 goals and 8 points in his last 5 games.  Richards and Alex Ovechkin always seem to get into a fracas when they play each other, too.  Look for Richards to be a factor on the scoresheet and with his physical play. 

Where’s the O?:  Speaking of last night’s clunker, the Capitals will need to have a much stronger first period.  After falling behind 3-0 early in the game, the Capitals never got their offense going and their powerplay was harmless.  The Caps will need even-strength production from the top two lines for a change.  With the lackluster defensive play in front of their own goalie in the last game, the Flyers will be prone to allowing rebound goals, and the Capitals will have to take advantage.  

Saturday Night’s All Right:  With loads of tough guys on the Flyers, look for enforcer D.J. King to get back into the lineup tonight.  With just 6 games and 2 fights on the season, he will be looking to get into a scrum against the Broadstreet Bullies to make an early impact.  Frankly, the Capitals will need the wake-up call after last night’s shellacking.