|Goaltender||GAA / SV%||% Games Won of Total GP|
|Washington Capitals||Braden Holtby||1.88 / .929||.652|
|Philadelphia Flyers||Brian Elliott||2.87 / .899||.645|
The Washington Capitals will take on the red-hot Philadelphia Flyers in their 2nd round robin game on Thursday the 6th. The Capitals and Flyers were 1st and 2nd in the Metropolitan Division during the 2019-20 season, and Washington did not have good results against them in the regular season. The Flyers defeated the Caps 5-2 back on March 4th, and ultimately outscored Washington 16-8 in four meetings last season (mcubed).
Washington eventually lost to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 3-2 in the shootout. Tampa Bay certainly had some questionable confidence heading into the game, as the shutout the Florida Panthers 5-0. The Caps dominated much of the play early on in the first, as they spent significant time in the Bolts’ defensive zone at the start. John Carlson was a game-time decision for the Capitals, and did not ultimately dress, despite participating in practice the last few days. Radko Gudas slid into the top defense pairing with Michal Kempny, after being scratched in the exhibition game versus Carolina. Kempny had an extremely good showing against Carolina after struggling post-injury all season long. However, a poor play by Kovalchuk ended up in a too-fancy-for-you turnover in front of the net, and Nikita Kucherov sniped the puck past Holtby to give Tampa a 1-0 lead. Shortly thereafter, Tom Wilson and Tyler Johnson were handed matching two-minute minors, so play resumed as 4-on-4. But then seconds later, Mikhail Sergachev went off for interference and Washington played 4-on-3 for a little under two minutes. The Caps, with their 17th-overall power play, did not convert, and Tampa led 1-0 heading into the 2nd.
Washington received another power play opportunity but again was unable to convert. At the 7:48 mark of the middle frame, Mitchell Stephens made it 2-0 Tampa. The Caps played a pretty lethargic brand of hockey. Before the expiration of the period, TJ Oshie and Yanni Gourde dropped the mitts and received five-minutes for fighting. Richard Panik cut into the Bolts’ lead with an almost-didn’t-make it goal with just under three minutes remaining in the period.
Then, Washington got a late power play and Evgeny Kuznetsov finally helped his team convert with the man-advantage and made it 2-2.
The Capitals were able to hold off the Lightning for the remainder of the third period, and this game, being incapable of finalizing the score in overtime, would take a shootout to settle the score. Victor Hedman shot first for Tampa, and Holtby stopped his attempt. TJ Oshie’s attempt was successful, as usual. Brayden Point successfully scored, and Evgeny Kuznetsov ran out of space to shoot. Nikita Kucherov’s attempt was successful, and his shot won it for Tampa.
The Philadelphia Flyers won their first Round Robin game versus the Boston Bruins by a score of 4-1 after three 2nd period goals and a fourth early in the third quieted the big bad Bruins. Although the first period was goal-less, Michael Raffl’s slashing penalty gave the Bruins a power play, and the Flyers had two opportunities with the man-advantage. At the 5:33 mark of the second, Michael Raffl gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead, and four minutes later, Nate Thompson made is 2-0. Chris Wagner got the Bruins on the board at the 18:51 mark of the middle frame, but eight seconds later, Philippe Myers gave Philadelphia a 3-1 lead heading into the third. Scott Laughton scored the three-goal leader making it 4-1 to round out the match. Neither the Flyers nor the Bruins were able to convert on their respective power plays, but Philly’s power play was only slightly better than Washington’s during the regular season (TheScore). Michael Raffl is expected to miss a significant amount of time after suffering an injury against Boston. After sitting out the first round robin match, Flyers’ prodigy Joel Farabee will make the lineup come Thursday, in place of Raffl. Goaltender Carter Hart allowed just one goal on 35 shots, but Brian Elliott will start for the Flyers against the Capitals.
The Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia will face-off on Thursday August 6th at 4PM EST, from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, Canada. John Carlson is a game-time decision and with Lars Eller leaving the bubble for the birth of his wife’s baby, Travis Boyd will slide in as the third line center.
Mcubed. (2020). NHL: Series records: Washington Capitals against Philadelphia Flyers. Retrieved from http://mcubed.net/nhl/wsh/phi.shtml.
TheScore. (2020). Philadelphia Flyers News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/9.