Flyers Host a Capitals Team Battling for Division

Flyers Host a Capitals Team Battling for Division

The Flyers face a Washington Capitals team this evening in a similar position to that of the Florida Panthers team they faced on Tuesday. Washington is battling for the division lead while also possibly fighting for the final playoff spot. Alexander Ovechkin is heating up just in time to face a Flyers team that he's performed well against throughout his career with 22 goals in 25 games.

"It's another desperate hockey team that needs to win a game," Lavvy said of tonight's opponent. "We've got to win some games ourself here, so it should be a great hockey game."

NHL's Adam Kimelman points out the dominance Ovie's club has had in Philly over the past few years: "Caps are 8-1-2 in last 11 games in Philly. Haven't lost in regulation in Philly since Dec. 20, 2008." Let's fix that.

Ovechkin has been hot, scoring five goals in the Caps' last four games. While the goal is to win every night they step on the ice, the Flyers know that first place isn't out of reach and that gaining momentum heading into the playoffs is important.

"We want to finish as high as possible. I don't think first place is even out of reach at all," Scott Hartnell said. "I think it's five points, we play [the Rangers] once. We win that game it's down to three points. We play Pittsburgh twice. We're trying to think finish as high as possible. I know it may be a little out of reach but it's something we're trying to keep our minds on for sure.

"The team with the most momentum, the confidence, the swagger I guess you could say, going into the playoffs is the team that usually goes on a bit of a run," Hartnell added. "It happened to us a few years back, we went to the Finals, winning the last game in the fashion that we did. We did everything but win the Stanley Cup."

Looks like Bryz will get the start tonight. Dude has been a beast. Hopefully they can continue to limit opposing scoring while also regaining their own production.

Time to get some of that swagger going tonight at the Wells Fargo Center. 7:00 puck drop against the Caps.

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

Steve Mason rediscovers himself in New York just before Flyers return

It had been a while since Steve Mason saw himself.

Walking into the Barclays Center on Sunday, the Flyers’ goalie was 0-6-2 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .844 save percentage over his last 10 appearances (see more recent Flyers numbers and stats).

A far cry of how Mason truly sees himself in net.

But heading into Wednesday’s rivalry clash with the Rangers, Mason will have something to build on, something he couldn’t say since Dec. 21 - the last previous time he had earned a victory. He’s fresh off his first win in over a month, a massive one for Mason considering all the key moments on Sunday the Flyers hope invigorate his confidence.

Without numerous clutch stops from their goalie, the Flyers don’t come back from two goals down to beat the Islanders, 3-2, in overtime. Mason made four saves  — three on four-time All-Star John Tavares — in just over a minute of a third-period power play. The Flyers ended up having to kill two New York man advantages in the final 10 minutes of regulation in order to force overtime.

The extra session is when Mason was just as good, if not better, stoning Tavares on a breakaway attempt that had game-winner written all over it. Mason made four saves in overtime after 13 in the third period.

“I was happy with the way that, personally, this game went for myself,” Mason said Sunday. “It’s been a tough stretch and this is more the type of game that I expect of myself. In recent games, the team was lacking the big saves and tonight it shows what kind of difference it can make.”

It was a massive performance heading into a massive three-game stretch against the Rangers, Maple Leafs and Hurricanes.

“Mase made some huge saves for us,” Simmonds said. “It allowed us to get back in that game.

“It’s not just Mase [with the] ups and downs. Everyone in here has been kind of fighting it and squeezing sticks pretty tight. That one felt good and I think Mase led the charge for sure.”

Mason understands just one game doesn’t turn around a season.

“It’s nice to feel good after a game,” Mason said. “At the same time, whether you’re winning or losing, you have to have a short mindset and get ready for the next one.”

That brings the Flyers to Madison Square Garden Wednesday to face the Rangers, who they’ve lost five straight games to dating back to last season. Mason hasn’t had much luck against New York this season, allowing seven goals in two losses with an .860 save percentage. However, in 2015-16, Mason put up a 1.74 goals-against average and .941 save percentage in five games against the Rangers.

“That’s going to be a tough game going into MSG,” Mason said Tuesday (see story).

The good thing: Mason was in New York two days ago, remembering what he can be.

Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

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Manute Bol's 7-foot, 17-year-old son dominates in HS season debut

Bol Bol, the 17-year-old son of the late Manute Bol, is a top high school basketball prospect with offers from schools like Arizona, Kansas and Creighton. This highlight tape should give you an idea why.
 
Bol, whose father played in the NBA for parts of 12 seasons, including 215 games for the Sixers, now attends the famed Mater Dei High School in California and played in his first game of the season this past weekend. Listed as the No. 16 overall prospect in the 2018 recruiting class by Scout, Bol started his season off with a big 21-point, 10-rebound effort.
 
Take a look at the highlight tape from the 6-foot-11 Bol and expect to see him carry on his father’s legacy on the court at a major NCAA college basketball program soon.