Flyers-Capitals Preview

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

As they attempt to forget about a frustrating loss to another division rival, the Philadelphia Flyers can draw upon the confidence gained from a recent road win over the Washington Capitals.

The teams face off at Verizon Center for the second time in 12 days Sunday with the first-place Capitals aiming for a third consecutive win and charging Philadelphia looking to extend its point streak to five games.

Philadelphia stopped the Capitals' 12-game home winning streak with a 4-3 overtime victory on Jan. 27, the final game for both before the All-Star break. The Flyers returned with two more wins and nearly had a fourth straight Saturday against the New York Rangers, taking a one-goal lead into the final seconds of regulation before ending with a potentially costly 3-2 shootout defeat.

New York's Keith Yandle tied it with 12.9 seconds remaining in the third period and the Rangers scored on their two shootout attempts against Steve Mason to deny Philadelphia (23-18-9), currently outside the Eastern Conference playoff picture but 8-3-2 since Jan. 5, an important point.

''It's definitely a tough way to lose a game," Mason said. "We have to find ways to close it out. We lost a big point there.''

The Flyers were forced to play much of the game without top goal scorer Wayne Simmonds, ejected midway through the first period for punching Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh. Simmonds entered off two straight two-goal efforts and recorded six with two assists over his previous four.

Philadelphia totaled 14 goals during its winning streak and a resurgent power play has converted 34.5 percent of its chances while scoring in seven straight. Rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere has 10 points over a seven-game streak and Jakub Voracek 11 during a six-game run.

Voracek scored twice, including 38 seconds into overtime, in the recent win over Washington (37-9-4), dealing Braden Holtby his first home loss since Oct. 28.

Holtby owns a 3.09 goals-against average over his past six starts but has been solid in two following the break, backing a 24-save effort in Thursday's 3-2 home win over the New York Islanders with 22 in Saturday's 3-2 shootout victory at New Jersey.

Andre Burakovsky scored in a fifth straight game and T.J. Oshie and Alex Ovechkin each had shootout goals after Paul Carey scored his first NHL with 5:53 left to tie it.

''You always envision the goals being big ones, and to tie it up in the third period is a great feeling and to help the team out on a call-up makes it even better," said the 27-year-old Carey, recalled from the minors on Friday.

The Capitals also overcame another dull effort from their usually strong special teams. Washington is 0 for 15 on the power play over a four-game stretch, tying its longest drought of the season, and has killed just 11 of 16 short-handed situations in its last five.

Ovechkin has eight goals over his past 10 but has been held without a point in two meetings with the Flyers this season. Jason Chimera scored two power-play goals in a 5-2 win at Philadelphia on Nov. 12.

Mason will likely start on consecutive days with Michal Neuvirth, who had 27 saves in the teams' last matchup, out with a lower-body injury. Mason stopped just 27 of 32 shots in the November loss.