Philadelphia (24-11-5) at Washington (14-28-2)

Partly Cloudy Currently: Washington, DC
Temp: 24° F
  • Game info: 7:00 pm EST Sun Jan 25, 2004
  • TV: ESPN2, CTV
Preview | Box Score | Recap

Jeremy Roenick thinks he knows the key to the Philadelphia Flyers’ recent success.

“I think it’s our execution and determination to play stronger defense,” Roenick said.

The Flyers will look to win for the fifth time in six games when they open a three-game road trip against the Washington Capitals.

Roenick scored both of Philadelphia’s goals in a 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Saturday, but he was quick to credit the Flyers’ defense.

The Flyers, who recently acquired defensemen Danny Markov and Mattias Timander, have allowed no more than two goals in each of their past four victories.

“We’re buckling down a little bit more in the neutral zone and in our own zone and playing a stronger defensive style as a team,” Roenick said.

However, Roenick also noted that the Flyers have been getting better scoring opportunities in recent games.

“Our offense is kicking in and we’re keeping the other team off the score sheet, which is important,” he added.

With Saturday’s win, the Flyers extended their lead to four points over the New Jersey Devils in the Atlantic Division, but coach Ken Hitchcock is still waiting for them to revert to their early season form.

“We were just steamrolling,” Hitchcock said. “We wanted it all the time. We wanted to take a 2-1 lead and make it 7-1. That’s the mindset I want to get back to.”

The Capitals have lost two straight and three of their last four, including a 4-1 loss to the Florida Panthers on Friday in their first game since trading Jaromir Jagr to the New York Rangers for Anson Carter earlier that day.

Carter had 10 goals and seven assists for the Rangers, but the Caps were more concerned with unloading Jagr’s contract, which is paying the former MVP $11 million per year.

“It’s something that has been brewing, but its always tough to lose a teammate, especially a guy as skilled as Jags was,” Washington’s Mike Grier said. “Anson’s a great player. He’s not going to put up the numbers that Jags did, but he’ll score 20-30 goals a year. He’s a good addition.”

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