Video: Flyers take down the Caps but may lose Brayden Schenn to injury after vicious hit

Video: Flyers take down the Caps but may lose Brayden Schenn to injury after vicious hit

The Philadelphia Flyers went into Tuesday night’s return match with the Washington Capitals looking to redeem themselves after choking away a three-goal lead to the same Caps team on Sunday.

The Flyers did just that and extended their home winning streak to seven games but did so at the possible cost of losing another key forward to injury.

Jake Voracek scored twice and Matt Read, Mark Streit and Wayne Simmonds each added a goal as the Flyers defeated the Capitals, 5-2, at Wells Fargo Center but may have lost Brayden Schenn after a scary hit where Schenn went face first into the boards and struggled to get up. You can watch the video of the play above.

With the teams tied at two and just under five minutes left in the second period, Schenn attempted to play a puck in the corner behind his team’s net when Caps’ rookie Tom Wilson raced in from out of nowhere and steamrolled him from behind.

Schenn went face first into the boards with his body almost parallel to the boards. He tried three times to get up and skate to the Flyers’ bench under his own power but fell down each time and needed assistance before making it to the bench successfully.

Wilson was given a five-minute, major penalty for charging and a game misconduct. The Flyers scored twice on the ensuing power play – Streit and Voracek did the honors – to take a 4-2 lead and they never looked back.

Schenn didn’t return to the game and the Flyers said he has the mysteriously-vague “upper-body injury.” The good news is the Flyers think Schenn will be ok. Neil Hartman reported on Postgame Live that Schenn walked out of the building under his own power.

Personally, I think it’s a suspendable offense but for no more than a few games.  Though he never saw Wilson coming, Schenn turned ever-so-slightly just before the hit and that helped the awkwardness of his landing. That doesn't change the fact the Wilson never attempted to slow down or even try to make a play on the puck.

When are hockey players going to learn that they just can’t hit other players from behind anymore? It’s not like it used to be. It’s an incredibly fast game now so these high-speed hits from behind have to be avoided before something catastrophic happens.

It’s almost like the NFL and shots to the head by defenders. Not only does it hurt the player, it hurts the offending player’s team. Just ask the Capitals tonight because they never recovered from that dumb and dangerous hit.

Here’s where things get interesting.

After the game, Flyers’ coach Craig Berube called Wilson’s hit on Schenn “reckless.” Caps’ coach Adam Oates told reporters that he “didn’t think Wilson should have been penalized” and Caps’ general manager George McPhee went one step further and called it a “great hit.”

Oh. Well then.

This rivalry has sure had some simmer to it this season, hasn’t it?

Steve Mason rebounded from a tough outing Sunday with a 24-save performance in the win, which put Philadelphia just one point behind Carolina for the last Metropolitan Division playoff spot. With Toronto’s loss, on Tuesday, Philadelphia now sits just three points behind Toronto for the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Sixers-Bucks 5 things: Joel Embiid back to face the 'Greek Freak'

Sixers-Bucks 5 things: Joel Embiid back to face the 'Greek Freak'

Sixers at Bucks
3:30 p.m. - CSN/CSNPhilly.com/streaming live on the NBCSports App

The Sixers (12-26) look to get back in the win column when they face the Milwaukee Bucks (20-19) at the Bradley Center in a Martin Luther King Day matinee.

Let's take a closer look at Monday afternoon's matchup:

1. Back on the Embiid express
The Sixers have started to show flashes of coming together and finally turning the corner on their massive rebuild. However, they are nowhere near the point that they can remove the biggest piece of the puzzle and still expect to win games.

The Sixers found that out again on Saturday night, as they were pummeled during the second half of a 109-93 loss to the Washington Wizards with Joel Embiid sidelined for rest.

The team didn't want to use the rookie phenom's absence as an excuse, but it was clear his presence was missed.

“We didn’t have that extra oomph,” Sixers head coach Brett Brown said after the loss. “Obviously, the omission of Joel Embiid clearly is impactful, but that’s the challenge. We just didn’t have it tonight.”

Embiid and his 19.6 points, 7.6 rebounds and 2.3 blocks per game will be back in the lineup against the Bucks.

2. Freak of nature
The Sixers won't be the only squad with a star in the making on the court Monday afternoon.

Giannis Antetokounmpo has shown plenty of potential since he was selected by the Bucks 15th overall in the 2013 draft (Anthony Bennett, who was recently released by the Brooklyn Nets, was taken No. 1 overall that year, for those of you keeping track at home). But the man known as "The Greek Freak" has taken his game to new heights this season.

Antetokounmpo is averaging 23.4 points on 53.5 percent shooting in addition to 8.8 rebounds, 5.7 assists, 2.0 blocks and 1.8 steals per game this season - all career highs. He's also coming off a 33-point, eight-rebound and six-assist performance in the Bucks' 111-98 loss to the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday.

With Antetokounmpo playing point guard full time now and the Bucks' starting five boasting players all above 6-foot-7, it's hard to determine how the Sixers will match up on defense. Whatever the plan is to slow down "The Greek Freak," it will have to be a total team effort.

3. Protect the paint
All of that size and athleticism for the Bucks is a big reason they attack the rim so much. Milwaukee is tied with Oklahoma City for the league lead in points in the paint with 50.6 per game.

The Sixers were dominated on the low block for 54 points by the Wizards on Saturday with Embiid out. For the season, they rank 14th in the league in points in the paint allowed at 42.3 a night.

One thing that might help the Sixers is their shot blocking. They swat 5.6 shots a game (sixth in the NBA), which could deter some of those romps to the rim by the Bucks.

4. Injuries
T.J. McConnell (right wrist), Ben Simmons (foot) and Jerryd Bayless (wrist) are out for the Sixers.

Khris Middleton (hamstring) is out for the Bucks.

5. This and that
• The Sixers have lost 12 of their last 14 games to the Bucks.

• Ersan Ilyasova spent the first seven seasons of his NBA career with the Bucks (see story on his return to Milwaukee). This will mark the fourth time he has faced his former team.

• Jabari Parker, selected No. 2 overall in the 2014 NBA draft right before Embiid, has emerged this season with 20.4 points, 5.8 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.

Sixers' T.J. McConnell (sprained right wrist) out Monday vs. Bucks

Sixers' T.J. McConnell (sprained right wrist) out Monday vs. Bucks

The Sixers will get Joel Embiid back in the lineup when they meet the Bucks on Monday afternoon in Milwaukee, but they'll be without their starting point guard.

T.J. McConnell will miss Monday's game with a sprained right wrist suffered in Saturday night's loss to the Wizards in D.C., the Sixers announced Monday morning.

McConnell reportedly did not travel with the team to Milwaukee and is back home in Philadelphia.

The 24-year-old McConnell has been a presence this season for a Sixers team that desperately needed something from the point guard spot. In 38 games this season, McConnell has averaged 4.8 points, 5.8 points and 4.8 assists, 2.8 rebounds and 1.4 assists a night in an average of 22.3 minutes a game.

The highlight of McConnell's season, of course, came last week when he nailed the game-winning shot at the buzzer to give the Sixers a 98-97 victory over the Knicks.

Sergio Rodriguez is expected to start in McConnell's place Monday against the Bucks.