Video: Caps’ Niskanen knees Flyers’ Couturier

12 Comments

Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen hit Flyers forward Sean Couturier knee-on-knee in the final minute of the first period this afternoon.

Couturier went to the room favoring his right leg, but did return in the second period.

Niskanen was assessed a minor penalty for kneeing on the play.

Last month Niskanen knocked Scott Laughton from a game between the Flyers and Capitals. Laughton was forced to miss seven games as a result.

WATCH LIVE: Capitals at Flyers (12:30 p.m. ET)

The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers get the Hockey Day in America tripleheader started from the Wells Fargo Center this afternoon.

The Flyers have won two of the first three meetings with the Capitals this season including a 3-1 victory on Feb. 8.

Both teams enter today’s action following 3-2 shootout victories on Saturday afternoon.

The Flyers edged the Predators while the Capitals stretched their win streak to four games beating the New York Islanders.

You can catch the broadcast on NBC (12:30 p.m. ET), or watch live online using NBC Sports’ Live Extra.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH LIVE

Some relevant linkage for today’s affair:

Flyers top Preds with a shootout victory

Video: Kuznetsov, Caps edge Islanders in a shootout

NHL on NBC: Welcome to Hockey Day in America

NHL on NBC: Welcome to Hockey Day in America

9 Comments

NBC continues its coverage of the 2014-15 campaign with Sunday’s Hockey Day in America tripleheader. Coverage begins at noon on-site from Lake Placid, N.Y. on the 35th anniversary of the 1980 “Miracle on Ice”. In addition to NBC and NBCSN, you can also watch the games online.

Hockey Day in America coverage begins with the Washington Capitals visiting the Philadelphia Flyers (12:30 p.m. ET on NBC) in the fifth and final meeting between the two clubs.

Caps’ forward Niklas Backstrom enters today’s action with two goals and five assists during a four-game point streak. His assist on Matt Niskanen’s goal Saturday afternoon has him in sole possession of the NHL scoring lead.

Washington stretched its win streak to four games yesterday and are now just four points back of the New York Islanders for top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

At this time last month the playoffs seemed like a long shot for the Philadelphia Flyers; however, following Saturday’s 3-2 shootout win over the Nashville Predators, the Flyers trail the Boston Bruins by just four points for the final wild card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers have won three straight games against the Capitals at home, and five of the past six against them overall.

The Boston Bruins and Chicago Blackhawks follow up the Caps and Flyers in a rematch of the 2013 Stanley Cup final (3:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

The Bruins limp into this afternoon’s contest having failed to pick up two points in six straight games. They’ll also be without David Krejci in Chicago. He was injured in the Bruins 5-1 loss in St. Louis on Friday night.

Chicago had its streak of seven straight games with at least a point snapped Friday in a 4-1 loss to the Colorado Avalanche. The Blackhawks are currently 2-1-3 on their season-high eight-game homestand.

Coverage of today’s action switches over to NBCSN for the Dallas Stars and Minnesota Wild (8 p.m. ET on NBCSN). The Wild won three of the first four meetings between the two clubs. The Stars won the most recent meeting 7-1 on Jan. 3.

Dallas will look to avoid a third straight loss following a disappointing 7-6 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday. The Stars failed to hang on to a two-goal lead twice during the third period in the loss.

The Wild return home after a 2-1-0 road trip to Western Canada and will look for a third straight win tonight. The game marks the fifth and final meeting between the two clubs this season.

NBC and NBCSN’s Hockey Day In America presentation will include interviews with members of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team as well as several features exploring hockey’s influence and impact in America.

Today’s coverage will include a feature on U.S. sled hockey’s Josh Sweeney, a sit down with Minnesota Wild defenseman Ryan Suter and profile of the U.S. National Team Development program.

Video: Kuznetsov, Caps edge Islanders in a shootout

7 Comments

Evgeny Kuznetsov was the lone goal scorer in the shootout as the Washington Capitals edged the New York Islanders 3-2 Saturday afternoon.

The win stretches Washington’s win streak to four games. The Caps have also won five of six.

“They’ve got a good team. I looked at that game as hopefully a playoff series at some point,” said Capitals coach, Barry Trotz. “Two very good hockey teams that mirror each other in a lot of ways in terms of some style. They have some dynamic people on both ends of the ice.

“I thought we were a little sleepy out of the gates. We weren’t executing as quick as we needed to. We allowed them to have a lot of structure. We weren’t real sharp early, and I thought we were a little slow out of the gates…In the second and third I thought we were much better in a lot of areas.”

New York failed to pick up two points for just the second time in eight games (6-1-1).

Matt Niskanen and Eric Fehr scored in regulation for the Capitals while Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the win.

With his assist on Niskanen’s goal, Niklas Backstrom took over the lead in points (64) from Chicago’s Patrick Kane (63).

Ryan Strome tied the game 2-2 with 47.8 seconds remaining in the third to force overtime.

“That was a great game. We played real well. We had 18, close to 20 shots in the third [period],” said Jack Capuano. “I really liked the things that we did. It would have been unfortunate not to walk out of here with at least a point. Our guys battled; Chad [Johnson] played well. The penalty kill came up big when it had to.”

Travis Hamonic had the other Islanders goal while Chad Johnson stopped 25 shots in the loss. John Tavares had two assists.

“It was a tight game in all aspects. [Washington] just had an opportunity obviously a pretty good one that they scored on,” Tavares said. “We had a few that we didn’t get, it just took us until the end. It was a good way to fight back and obviously couldn’t help our goalie out in the shootout. We didn’t get any past Holtby.”

With the win, the Capitals move to within four points of the Islanders for top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

Video: Nash scores game winner, moves within one goal of Alex Ovechkin

10 Comments

Rick Nash continues to close in on his career high for goals. He also happens to be nipping at the heels of Alex Ovechkin for the league lead in that department, too.

Nash scored the game winner for the New York Rangers, as they defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a final score of 3-1 on Friday.

Mackenzie Skapski, making his NHL debut in goal for the Rangers, gave up a goal 14 seconds into the first period, but that was it, as he stopped 24 of 25 shots and picked up his first career victory in the big league.

At the age of 30, Nash is up to 37 goals this season. That’s one back of Ovechkin, who was not in action on Friday, and four off his career best of 41, set back in 2003-04. The veteran Rangers’ winger finished off a pretty passing play less than a minute into the second period, giving his team a 2-1 lead.