The NHL is set up with another action packed Tuesday night of hockey. Eight games are up on the board throughout February 9. To kick off the night of action, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals will meet up. These two teams have had strong starts to the season and will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 6:00 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
The Flyers have earned a record of 8-3-2 throughout the early part of this season, which has them sitting in second place of the East Division. Philadelphia earned a win against their last game, which ended a two game losing streak. The Flyers will look to build upon that win on Sunday in this one. If Philadelphia can continue to come out hot, they should be able to knock off the Capitals.
Washington has put up a record of 6-3-3 so far this season, which has them in third place of the East Division. The Capitals have lost three straight games in regulation coming into this one. I expect Washington to come out much quicker as they look to avoid another loss. The Capitals will look to switch some things up as they look to get momentum back early.
These two teams are sitting in playoff spots in the East Division early in the season and will look to keep it up with a big win in this one. These two teams are coming off a meeting on Sunday afternoon. The Capitals were able to dominate in the shot department, but their defense and goaltending could not slow down Philadelphia. Washington will look to clean up their play entering this one.
The Flyers and the Capitals met up four times in the regular season last season. Washington was able to win the first game with a nice 2-1 shootout victory. Philadelphia dominated after that though. The Flyers were able to win the last three games in the regular season by a combined score of 15-6. Philadelphia was able to ride that momentum against the Capitals throughout the season series.
These two teams also met up in the qualifying round of the playoffs. Travis Boyd scored the lone goal for Washington, which was not enough for the win. Scott Laughton had two goals and an assist on the night, while Kevin Hayes had three assists. Travis Konecny had two assists as well for the Flyers. Brian Elliott stopped 16 of 17 shots to help Philadelphia win 3-1 in route to the first seed in the Eastern Conference.
The first game of this season’s series was on February 7 in Washington. Alex Ovechkin had two goals and two assists, while Tom Wilson had a goal and an assist. The Capitals still could not secure the win. Scott Laughton had a hat trick, while Sean Couturier had two goals and an assist. Joel Farabee had three assists on the night as well to help lead Philadelphia to a 7-4 win.
The Flyers have had Washington’s number as of late, winning five games in a row against the Capitals. In Sunday’s game, Washington was able to outshoot Philadelphia 37-23, but they could not slow down the Flyers offense. I expect the Capitals to try and clean things up entering this one as they look for the win. If Washington can keep up the offensive push in this one, it could help them earn the win.
Philadelphia’s power play has been solid this season, but their penalty kill has struggled. The Flyers have capitalized on 9 of their 42 power play opportunities, which is a 21.4 percent success rate. Philadelphia has given up 13 goals on 44 power play chances, which is a 70.5 percent penalty kill. The Flyers will look to improve on the penalty kill in this one.
The Capitals have been strong on both sides of special teams throughout the early part of this season. Washington has scored on 10 of their 27 power play attempts, which is a 37 percent power play. The Capitals have killed off 35 of 43 penalties against, which is an 81.4 percent kill rate. Washington will look to gain the edge on special teams once again in this one.
Washington’s problem in Sunday’s loss was not on special teams. The Capitals went 1-1 on the power play, while killing off all four penalties against. Washington will look to draw more power play chances in this one as they meet up with the Flyers. If Philadelphia can stay out of the box though, that would help neutralize the Capitals dangerous power play.
I expect Carter Hart to get the nod in the crease for the Flyers in this one. Hart has earned a record of 5-2-2 through his nine starts this season. He has put up a save percentage of .897 and a 3.49 GAA through those games. Hart’s last start was against Washington, where he turned away 33 of 37 shots to help Philadelphia secure the win on Sunday.
Vitek Vanecek will likely get the start in the net for Washington on Tuesday night. Vanecek has started in ten games this season, grabbing a record of 5-2-2 so far. He has posted a .903 save percentage and a GAA of 3.18. Vanecek started Sunday’s game against the Flyers, but gave up 4 goals on 14 shots before he was pulled in the second period.
These two goalies did not have memorable performances on Sunday afternoon and I expect them both to try and step up early in this one. Vanecek has done a great job stepping into the starting role since Ilya Samsonov has been out. Vanecek got pulled from Sunday’s game and I think he will use that as motivation entering Tuesday night’s game.
These two teams will both look to earn a big win on Tuesday night as they are competing towards the top of the East Division. The Capitals were not able to come away with the win on Sunday afternoon, but I expect them to play better in this one. Washington has an edge on special teams and if they can get a better performance from Vanecek, I think they can win this one at home.
BetOnline has Philadelphia listed as a -123 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Flyers will win this game around 55.2 percent of the time. With this game being in Washington, I think that this line should be closer to even. I like the Capitals to bounce back on Tuesday night to earn a win and as underdogs, there is a lot of value on Washington.