NBCSN will continue its coverage of the 2016-17 campaign tonight when the Philadelphia Flyers host the Washington Capitals at 8:00 p.m. ET. If you want to watch the game online, you can do so here.
The Philadelphia Flyers saw their 10-game winning streak come to an end on Saturday afternoon. They’ve now dropped back-to-back games and will face a stiff test, at home, against the Washington Capitals tonight.
It’s the first time these two teams do battle since they met in the opening round of the playoffs last season, which the Capitals won in six games.
Even though they were able to rattle off 10 consecutive victories, the Flyers still haven’t been able to crack the top three in the Metropolitan Division. That’s mainly because the teams within the division have been playing incredible hockey.
The Penguins, Rangers and Blue Jackets are all ahead of Philadelphia and it’s easy to see why. Pittsburgh is 8-0-2 in their last 10, the Rangers are 7-3-0 (they were smoked 7-2 by the Pens last night) and the Blue Jackets have also rattled off 10 victories in a row.
The two teams going head-to-head tonight currently own the first and second Wild Card spots in East (the Flyers hold a one-point lead over the Caps).
“We knew we were in a good division,” captain Claude Giroux said, per the Courier-Post.“But the way everyone else is playing…even Columbus on a (10)-game winning streak, they could be the hottest team in the league. We’ve just got to focus on our game and when we start focusing on other things, that’s when you stop doing what you have to do.”
The Capitals are coming off a 2-1 home loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, and they know things won’t get any easier tonight.
“Anytime we play the Flyers, it’s been intense, so I don’t expect anything different,” head coach Barry Trotz said, per the Washington Post. “. . . I’ve yet to see us and the Flyers not have an intense game, so I don’t know how to react to that. I expect the same, I guess.”
One of the things that’s made Washington so dangerous in the past is their power play. They struggled on the man-advantage at the start of the year, but they seemed to have turned it around of late.
“On the power play, we just weren’t bearing down as much,” forward T.J. Oshie said via CSN Mid-Atlantic. . “We weren’t hitting the net enough. And now we’re working together, we’re winning puck battles, we’re getting goals from both units. It’s trending up, but with how good this power play has been in the past, it was only a matter of time until we got that hard mentality, that work ethic back to win puck battles and get second chances and third chances.”
With the division as competitive as it is, a red-hot power play could be the difference between starting the playoffs on the road and starting them with home-ice advantage.
This one should be a lot of fun!