Flyers-Capitals: What you need to know

Flyers-Capitals: What you need to know
March 31, 2013, 10:15 am
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Flyers vs. Capitals – 6 p.m., CSN
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

Flyers: 14-17-3 (Fifth in Atlantic Division, 14th in Eastern Conference)

Capitals: 16-17-1 (Third in Southeast Division, 11th in Eastern Conference)

Last meeting
The last time these two clubs faced off Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist to lead the Flyers to a 4-1 win over the Capitals on Feb. 27 at Wells Fargo Center. Simon Gagne, in his first game back with the Flyers after being traded by the LA Kings, tallied his first marker of the season. Ilya Bryzgalov was 2:09 away from a shutout when Joel Ward scored for the Caps.

Sunday will mark the third and final game between the Flyers and Capitals this season. They have split the first two games of the 2013 series.

Previous games
Less than 24 hours ago, the Flyers put together a strong 60-minute effort in a 3-1 victory over the Boston Bruins. Mike Knuble, Matt Read and Ruslan Fedotenko each scored for the Flyers, who snapped a four-game losing skid in the process. Bryzgalov was stellar in net, turning aside 32 shots to earn his 14th win of the season.

Washington rallied for a 4-3 shootout win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday. Alex Ovechkin, Troy Brouwer and Mike Green all had goals in regulation for the Caps. Netminder Braden Holtby stopped 20 shots through overtime and didn't allow a single shot to pass him in the shootout.

Keep an eye on...
The Flyers have gone 4-1 in their last five games against the Capitals and have won each of the past two visits from Washington.

Both the Flyers and Capitals are trying to claw their way back into the playoff hunt. Washington pulled within two points of the eighth-place Rangers on Saturday and the Flyers are just four points back of the Blueshirts for the final playoff spot. New York was shut out by Montreal on Saturday and will next play on Monday against the Jets.

Ovechkin is absolutely on fire for Washington. The Capitals' captain has collected seven goals and four assists during his current seven-game point-scoring streak. The former first-overall pick has lit up the Flyers for 23 markers and 15 helpers in 28 career games, but has scored just one goal in his last five games against the orange and black.

Zac Rinaldo has been giving opponents fits all season long. The gritty forward had 12 hits in just under 13 minutes of ice time on Saturday and had the quote of the day following his performance. “That’s nothing,” Rinaldo said. “Give me 18 and I’ll give you 20.”

The Flyers had three players break out of slumps against the Bruins. Fedotenko, who entered the game with just one goal this year, scored for the first time in 28 contests with his empty-net goal in the final frame. With assists on Knuble's first-period tally, Brayden Schenn broke a 10-game pointless streak and Sean Couturier recorded his first point in 15 games.

Did you know?
After Knuble's first-period goal on the man advantage Saturday, the Flyers have now converted on five straight chances on the power play over their past four games.

The Flyers improved to 5-4 in games that have started before 7 p.m. this season with their victory over Boston on Saturday.

Flyers: Danny Briere (concussion), Braydon Coburn (separated left shoulder) and Jody Shelley (left hip) all remain out indefinitely.

Andrej Meszaros will undergo surgery on April 2 to repair a torn left rotator cuff. His season is over.

Nicklas Grossmann (upper-body) has missed fourth consecutive game on Saturday. He is not expected to play against the Capitals.

Capitals: John Erskine (upper-body), Tom Poti (back) and Eric Fehr (upper-body) are all out for Washington.

Tomas Kundratek was activated from injured reserve on Saturday. The defenseman has missed the Capitals' last eight contests with a right leg injury.

Sound off
Do you think the Flyers still have a shot at making the playoffs?

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