Tom Wilson

Capitals vs. Flyers livestream: How to watch Wednesday Night Hockey

NBCSN’s coverage of the 2019-20 NHL season continues with the Wednesday Night Hockey matchup between the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers. Coverage begins at 6:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN. You can watch the game online and on the NBC Sports app by clicking here.

Washington defeated the Senators 6-1 last night on home ice to pickup their third consecutive win and remain undefeated in the 2020 calendar year. Alex Ovechkin and T.J. Oshie each tallied two goals and rookie goaltender Ilya Samsonov stopped 26 of 27 shots he faced as the Caps erased an early 1-0 deficit to come away with the win. Ovechkin’s second goal, his 26th of the season, was the 684th of his career, tying him with Teemu Selanne for 11th place on the NHL’s all-time goals list.

The Caps have been pacing the entire league since the beginning of the season. Wednesday will mark the 86th day overall that Washington has led the Metro and will also mark the 67th day overall that the Caps have led the NHL this season.

Philly ended a six-game road trip (1-4-1) Tuesday night at However, things could be turning around in the city of brotherly love as the Flyers will be hosting six of their next seven games beginning Wednesday. Philly has won seven of their last eight games at home (7-1-0) and Wednesday’s game vs. Washington will be their first at the Wells Fargo Center since Dec. 23. The Flyers are 13-2-4 at home this season, while their two regulation losses are tied with Boston for the fewest in the league.

The Flyers ended a six-game road trip Tuesday night with a 5-4 (OT) loss to Carolina. Philly scored the first two goals of the game before giving up the next four. The Flyers rallied to tie the game as Travis Sanheim sent the game to the extra frame with his fifth goal of the season with under five mins to play. Canes defenseman Dougie Hamilton scored in OT to hand Philly their fifth loss of the road trip (1-4-1), but the Flyers earned a much-needed point in the standings as they head back home.

[COVERAGE BEGINS AT 6:30 P.M. ET ON NBCSN]

WHAT: Washington Capitals at Philadelphia Flyers
WHERE: Wells Fargo Center
WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 8, 6:30 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSN
LIVE STREAM: You can watch the Capitals-Flyers stream on NBC Sports’ live stream page and the NBC Sports app.

PROJECTED LINEUPS

CAPITALS
Alex Ovechkin – Nick BackstromTom Wilson
Jakub VranaEvgeny Kuznetsov – T.J. Oshie
Carl HagelinLars EllerRichard Panik
Brendan LeipsicNic DowdGarnet Hathaway

Michal KempnyJohn Carlson
Dmitry OrlovNick Jensen
Jonas SiegenthalerRadko Gudas

Starting goalie: Braden Holtby

FLYERS
Claude GirouxSean CouturierTravis Konecny
James van RiemsdykKevin HayesNicolas Aube-Kubel
Tyler PitlickMichael RafflJakub Voracek
Scott LaughtonMikhail VorobyevJoel Farabee

Ivan ProvorovMatt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim – Philippe Myers
Robert HaggShayne Gostisbehere

Starting goalie: Carter Hart

Kathryn Tappen will host Wednesday’s coverage on NHL Live alongside Patrick Sharp and Keith Jones and Bob McKenzie. Mike Emrick, Eddie Olczyk and Brian Boucher will call Flyers-Capitals game from Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pa.

NHL fines Tortorella $20K, also adds strange ‘conditional fine’

NHL fined Tortorella
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The NHL fined John Tortorella $20K for his profane criticisms of officials following Sunday’s controversial 3-2 Blues Jackets loss to the Blackhawks. The league also added a strange wrinkle: a conditional $25K fine in the event of “similar inappropriate behavior” from Torts through Dec. 29, 2020.

So does this mean that Tortorella could not just celebrate the holidays and a new year in late 2020/early 2021, but also a renewed ability to speak his mind?

The whole thing is odd enough that you might want to see the release for yourself:

NHL fans have become familiar with conditional picks being traded, but conditional fines? (Tom Wilson might want to start putting aside some extra money, just in case.)

Torts followed a familiar pattern to receive this unfamiliar punishment. Consider the Stages of Torts Fine.

1. Tortorella fumes, usually after a loss

Whether you like Tortorella or not as a coach, you can’t deny that he’s one of the only coaches who consistently entertains (intentionally or not) during post-game press conferences.

Honestly, the league hanging that conditional fine over Torts’ head isn’t just strange and pushy. It also might make him bite his tongue and provide more “no-comment” answers. Do we really want censored Torts after seeing him fly off the handle so many times?

(Enters vote for Profane Torts.)

2. Torts keeps costing himself money

We’ve reached the point where Tortorella should have fine and suspension protection built into any contract.

Recall that Tortorella received two fines in 2011-12 alone, including one for calling officiating “disgusting” following the 2012 Winter Classic.

The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline puts Tortorella’s fines total at $80K, and that’s if he avoids that conditional $25K fine. (Hey, 100 does make for a good milestone, generally speaking.)

The league also suspended Tortorella 15 days (or six games) for his notorious Flames confrontation during Torts’ Canucks days. The Blue Jackets should invest in someone whose job is to calm Tortorella down, much like how Rams coach Sean McVay has someone monitoring his sideline movements.

3. Tortorella usually apologizes

After venting about the 2012 Winter Classic, Tortorella apologized for “tainting” it with his mouth.

Torts also backtracked following the Blackhawks incident that drew Wednesday’s fine.

“I ask my team to be disciplined, and I think it’s quite honestly a big part of our loss last night, was the lack of discipline with our team. I think the coach followed through with lack of discipline after the game with you guys,” Tortorella said (he’s “the coach”).

“If I have a problem with something that has gone on in the game, with whom or with what, I think it needs to be handled internally and not in the public manner as it was last night.”

On one hand, it’s amusing to see Tortorella cool off, essentially becoming Bruce Banner apologizing on behalf of “The Incredible Hulk.”

On the other hand, it’s sad that coaches risk taking a loss at the bank anytime they’re honest — even when they might be right. They’re forced to at least make token appearances with the media when they’re angriest, yet not allowed to truly speak their minds. Seems a little unfair.

I also wonder: by apologizing, did Tortorella soften his punishment? Would the NHL have hammered Torts with the full $45K unless he meekly apologized?

Either way, it’s strange, even by the already-strange standards of how the league handles a wide variety of, er, “inappropriate behaviors.”

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Tom Wilson goes after David Pastrnak, chaos ensues for Capitals – Bruins

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Tom Wilson “gifted” the Department of Player Safety quite the situation to mull over during the holidays. Wilson got involved in some of the chaos during the Boston Bruins’ 7-3 win against the Washington Capitals on Monday. Wilson received a misconduct penalty as he went after David Pastrnak, seemingly striking an official in the process.

In other words, the Bruins and Capitals took the wrong message from this being a season of giving.

“I imagine Player Safety will be a little busy,” Bruins coach Bruce Cassidy said, via NBC Sports Boston’s Joe Haggerty.

Wilson, Pastrnak mix it up

Both Wilson and Pastrnak were involved in physical play before the fracas. Pastrnak checked Nick Jensen, while Wilson appeared to catch Pastrnak below the belt with his stick.

Cassidy said that Player Safety will be a little busy, and not necessarily just because of Wilson. T.J. Oshie also delivered a questionable hit on Charlie McAvoy:

(Considering McAvoy’s concussion history, it’s promising that the early word is that he is “OK.”)

Bruins and Capitals players getting nasty late in a blowout brings to mind other ugly moments in lopsided games, including Red Wings – Maple Leafs.

While the league mulls over specific incidents, maybe there should also be bigger-picture discussions about goonish moments when games are no longer in doubt?

Boost for Bruins?

Boston must be elated to enter the break with a blowout win. The Bruins only won once in their last 17 games (1-12-4) against the Capitals coming into this one. Boston struggled beyond games against Washington lately, as they were on a three-game losing streak and a 1-4-4 slump.

Don’t be surprised if Monday’s mayhem plants seeds for future nastiness between two East powers.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

PHT Face-Off: Pacioretty’s career year; Hart’s strong start

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The PHT Face-Off is back every Monday to break down some of the trends and storylines around the NHL.

Let’s take a look at what’s on tap this week:

Carter Hart has had a good year:

Last week, the Flyers goaltender officially hit the one-year mark in his NHL career, and it’s actually gone pretty well when you consider his age and position. Hart and backup netminder Brian Elliott were splitting starts at one point, but the youngster is now the regular between the pipes for Philly this season.

Those numbers aren’t terrible, especially when you consider how much the NHL has changed over the last two seasons. Offense seems to have gone up quite a bit and point totals are also on the rise. With all that in mind, it’s easy to see why the Flyers are excited about their future when it includes Hart. How long has it been since they’ve had a real difference-maker in goal?

Ryan Strome fitting in nicely with Rangers:

Sure, Strome has had the benefit of playing with Artemi Panarin for a good chunk of this season, but the fact that he’s accumulated 30 points in his first 35 games of the season is still impressive. The Strome’s success looks even better for New York when you realize that all they gave up for him was Ryan Spooner, who’s now playing in Europe.

On the flip side, when you look at his numbers without Panarin, you quickly realize just how good the Russian winger is at making those around him better. Almost all of Strome’s individual numbers drop when Panarin isn’t by his side, according to Natural Stat Trick.

With Panarin, Strome has a 47.39 CF%, a 47.86 FF%, a 61.76 GF% and an XGF% of 48.79 percent. Without him, he has a 43.6 CF%, a 42.91 FF%, a 45.45 GF% and an XGF% of 41.76.

Yeah, those numbers are definitely inflated by a talented linemate, but nobody will really mind if he continues to put up points throughout the season.

• Veterans coming through for Wild: 

Nobody really expected much from the Minnesota Wild this year, but a solid couple of months has them in the mix for a playoff spot heading into the Christmas break. Eric Staal, Zach Parise and Ryan Suter have a lot to do with the teams recent play.

Parise has 16 points in his last 19 contests, Staal has picked up 11 points in his last nine games and Ryan Suter has seven points in his last six games and, oh by the way, he’s averaging over 25 minutes of ice time per game for the season. There’s no denying that the Wild are an aging team and they’re still not likely to make the playoffs, but maybe this group of old timers (no offense) can get them back into the postseason one last time.

This is a stat that dates back to last week, so the numbers have changed a little bit, but look at the balanced scoring they’re receiving and look at the names of the players contributing.

Overcoming the Zucker injury won’t be easy (he’s expected to miss a month). The good news is that the team has activated Joel Eriksson Ek from injured reserve.

Max Pacioretty is playing best hockey of career:

The Golden Knights paid a huge price to land Max Pacioretty from the Montreal Canadiens last fall, as they gave up Tomas Tatar, top prospect Nick Suzuki and a second-round draft pick. Tatar has been solid for the Habs and Suzuki has made quite the impression during his rookie season, but you can’t overlook what Pacioretty has done in his second year with Vegas.

The 31-year-old is on pace to score 32 goals this year, which wouldn’t be a career-high, but he could also surpass the 70-point mark for the first time in his career. Even though Pacioretty is known as a scorer first, he’s found a way to help set up teammates this year. He and Mark Stone have given the Golden Knights another incredible forward line.

He’s heading into this week with 10 points in his last seven games. On top of all that, his CF%, SF% XGF%, SCF%, and HDCF% are all at 55 percent or higher, per Natural Stat Trick.

The fact that he’s no longer playing in a hockey-crazy market like Montreal seems to be helping him.

“I haven’t really thought about it, but that’s kind of my personality. Not really attention-grabbing,” Pacioretty told The Athletic. “You’re never as good as they say you are. You’re never as bad as they say you are, so I try to stay even keel. Good news is right now we’re getting contributions from everybody and we’re winning as a team.”

• Are the 200-minute penalty men back?

Last season, only one player surpassed the 150-minute penalty mark, and that was San Jose Sharks forward Evander Kane. In all, only six players had more than 100 minutes in the sin bin (Kane, Tom Wilson, Antoine Roussell, Ian Cole, Brendan Lemieux and Zack Kassian. Yes, those numbers would’ve been higher had each of those players not missed games, but those are still low totals.

This year, the high-end penalty minute takers appear to be back in find form. Leading the way this season is Erik Gubranson of the Anaheim Ducks, who has 86 penalty minutes in just 33 contests. That puts him on pace for 203. Lemieux is right behind him, as he has 85 PIMs in 33 contests. Kane is right behind both of them with 83 minutes in 35 games.

This is what happens when Lemieux and Gudbranson go head-to-head:

What’s coming up this week?

• The Christmas break runs from Dec. 24 to Dec. 26, but that means we’re loaded with hockey games on Monday and Friday night.
• The World Junior Hockey Championship begins on Boxing Day.

NHL on NBCSN

• New York Rangers vs. Philadelphia Flyers, Mon. Dec. 23, 7 p.m. ET
• Minnesota Wild vs. Colorado Avalanche, Fri. Dec. 27, 8 p.m. ET

Joey Alfieri is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @joeyalfieri.

Capitals, Ovechkin ‘heartbroken’ over passing of young fan Alex Luey

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Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals were heartbroken by tragic news on Sunday. Alex Luey’s father Scott explained that the 15-year-old passed away in his sleep after battling cancer for three years.

“Early this morning our son Alex’s three-year battle with cancer ended when he passed away in his sleep at the hospital,” Scott Luey wrote on Twitter. “Alex battled bravely and touched many lives during his life. I won’t be on social media over the holidays but I will post funeral arrangements shortly.”

Ovechkin and Luey formed quite the bond over the last few years, something Ovechkin discussed on Twitter while sharing his condolences to Luey’s family.

Our Caps family heartbroken…so sad to hear Alex Luey pass away today. Such a great kid. He inspire me and our team with his strength. My family will pray for him and his mom and dad. Love you bro. I will miss seeing you in Toronto. Rest In Peace. ❤️ #LueyStrong

Tom Wilson described Luey as “one of the kindest and bravest kids I’ve had the pleasure of meeting over the years.”

Luey, Ovechkin form a lasting connection

First, Ovechkin surprised Luey with a message during the Oct. 11, 2017 edition of Sportsnet’s “Hometown Hockey.” Then, the Capitals forward promised Luey that if Ovechkin scored on Nov. 25, 2017 game (which happened to be a Hockey Fights Cancer event), Ovechkin would find him in the crowd. Ovechkin managed to generate a hat trick after Luey read out the starting lineups before the game, and Luey received the player of the game award:

Luey’s experience ranked as one of the best hockey stories of 2017, but the connection didn’t stop there.

Ovechkin made sure that Luey was able to celebrate the Capitals winning a Stanley Cup:

“I always hoped they would win the Stanley Cup,” Luey said of the experience, via NHL.com. “Never thought I’d be here at the parade.”

Luey clearly will be missed, and the Capitals won’t forget their “lucky charm.”

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.