PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 01: Claude Giroux #28 of the Philadelphia Flyers instructs teammates Jakub Voracek #93 and Scott Hartnell #19 during a stoppage in play against the Washington Capitals on November 1, 2013 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Capitals went on to defeat the Flyers 7-0. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

Flyers change lines again in search of elusive spark

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If only the Philadelphia Flyers had acquired goaltender Steve Mason in January, they might have made the playoffs in the shortened campaign. If only they would provide him with some offensive support now, they’d have a far better record than 4-9-1.

The Flyers rank dead last in the NHL with an average of 1.57 goals per game. Obviously, they’ve already frequently mixed up their lines with limited success, but Flyers coach Craig Berube now seems to be trying to spark his team by putting them in familiar situations.

With that in mind Jakub Voracek has been reunited with Claude Giroux on the top line. Scott Hartnell is rounding out the unit, according to CSN Philly.

Voracek and Giroux had plenty of success last season, but Voracek has had a fair number of different linemates already this season. At the same time, this will be far from the first time the duo has played together in 2013-14 and nothing has broken Giroux out of his goal scoring drought.

In fact, Giroux’s inability to score in any situation is a microcosm of the Flyers’ problems. Ultimately, there’s only so much Berube can do to fix this.

“At some point, they need to start producing,” Berube said simply, although he’s still hopeful that the familiarity will help them this time around.

Speaking of familiar, Vincent Lecavalier will shift from the right wing back to center.

“I just wanted to get Vinny back in the middle,” Berube explained. “It gets him some freedom to skate a little bit more and get moving and just trying to create some offense five-on-five here.”

Lecavalier will play alongside Brayden Schenn and Matt Read.

The Flyers will try out these combinations against the New Jersey Devils tonight. The Devils have been shutout of back-to-back games, including their recent contest against Philadelphia, so this has the makings of a low-scoring game. While the Flyers will gladly take two points any way they can get them, at some point, their offense needs to show signs of thawing.

Oshie’s hat trick lets Caps just barely squeak by Penguins in OT

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What a start.

This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.

This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.

What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:

This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.

There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.

Twice:

If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.

NOTES:

Nick Bonino had a goal and an assist for the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin and Ben Lovejoy accounted for the Penguins’ other markers.

— Capitals forward Andre Burakovsky scored the game’s opening goal. It was his first marker of the 2016 playoffs.

— Washington outshot Pittsburgh 15-9 in the first period, but Pittsburgh ended up with a 45-35 edge.

— This is the first time in the 2016 playoffs that Braden Holtby has allowed more than two goals. He surrendered just five goals in six games to Philadelphia.

— Matt Murray suffered his first career postseason loss after winning three straight contests against the New York Rangers.

Video: Wilson delivers late, knee-on-knee hit to Sheary

Wilson hit
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Tom Wilson has already found himself in a controversy for delivering a late, knee-on-knee hit to Penguins forward Conor Sheary in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night.

You can see that incident below:

Wilson spent two minutes in the sin bin earlier in the contest for crosschecking Evgeni Malkin, but there was no penalty on this play.

Fortunately Conor Sheary was able to stay in the game. The question now is if Wilson’s actions will lead to him being suspended prior to Game 2.

This isn’t Wilson’s first brush with controversy. He delivered a big hit to Brayden Schenn in 2013, but Wilson wasn’t suspended for that incident. Lubomir Visnovsky’s final campaign was cut short due to a check by Wilson that angered the New York Islanders. More recently, Nikita Zadorov was concussed by a crushing blow from the Capitals forward.

In 231 career regular season games, Wilson has 50 points and 486 penalty minutes.

Related: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints

Video: Penguins, Caps combine for three goals in 90 seconds

Oshie goal
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For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.

Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.

In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:

After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.

Video: Beagle gets stick stuck in visor

Beagle
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Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.

Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below: