The NHL is set up with another great night of action throughout May 7. Seven games are up on the board throughout Friday night. One of these games will be between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Washington Capitals. These two teams are in opposite sides of the standings, but will look for a big win in this one. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on NHL Network.
Philadelphia has earned a record of 23-23-7 to this point in the season, which has them in sixth place of the East Division. The Flyers have already been eliminated from postseason contention, but will try to earn a big win in this one. Philadelphia has lost four of their last five games entering this one. The Flyers will look to play spoiler to finish this season.
The Capitals have put up a record of 34-14-5 throughout this season, which has them in the top spot of the East Division. Washington has one game in hand on the Penguins, who are tied with them in points. The Capitals have won back to back games coming into this matchup. Washington will look to finish strong to secure the top seed.
These two teams are in different places as the season comes to a close, but I expect a tight matchup on Friday night. Washington is looking to hold on to their lead for the top spot in the East, while the Flyers are looking to grab a big win in this one. If either team can come out strong on Friday night, it could be enough for a win in this one.
The Flyers and the Capitals have met up six times so far this season. The first two games of the season series were on February 7 and March 7. Scott Laughton had three goals in the first game, while Sean Couturier had two goals and an assist as Philadelphia won 7-4. T.J. Oshie had two assists in the second meeting to lead Washington to a 3-1 win.
The third and fourth game of the season series were between March 9 and 13. Jakub Vrana had two goals for the Capitals in the third matchup as the Capitals earned a big 5-4 win in overtime. Carl Hagelin and Nick Jensen each had a goal and an assist in the fourth game. Washington was able to earn another 5-4 win on the road in that one.
Washington hosted the fifth game of the season series on April 13. Sean Couturier scored the lone goal for the Flyers on the night, but it was not enough. Conor Sheary had a goal and two assists. Nicklas Backstrom, Anthony Mantha, Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson all had a goal and an assist on the night to lead the Capitals to a 6-1 win.
The sixth and most recent game of the season series shifted back to Philadelphia on April 17. Claude Giroux had two assists on the night, but once again the Flyers came up short. John Carlson had four assists, while Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist. Evgeny Kuznetsov had a goal and two assists to help give Washington a 6-3 win.
Philadelphia’s power play has been solid throughout this season. The Flyers have scored on 31 of their 159 power play chances, which is a 19.5 percent success rate. Philadelphia’s penalty kill has struggled though this season. The Flyers have killed off 115 of their opponents 160 power play attempts, which is a 71.9 percent penalty kill.
The Capitals have been really strong on the power play throughout this season. Washington has capitalized on 38 of their 147 power play opportunities, which is a 25.9 percent power play. The Capitals have given up 26 power play goals on 157 penalties against, which is an 83.4 percent kill rate. Washington will look to keep up their success on special teams in this one.
Washington has the edge on special teams in this one. The Capitals have had the better power play and penalty kill. The Flyers will need to score a goal or two on the man advantage if they want to gain the edge in this one. Philadelphia will look to stay out of the box on Friday night after giving up a lot of penalties this season.
I expect Brian Elliott to get the start in the net for the Flyers in this one. Elliott has started in 24 games this season, going 13-9-2 throughout those matchups. He has posted a .886 save percentage and a GAA of 3.15. Elliott’s last start was against the Pittsburgh Penguins where he stopped 24 of 30 shots in the losing effort.
Ilya Samsonov will likely get the start in the crease for Washington on Friday night. Samsonov has earned a record of 13-4-1 throughout his 18 starts this season. He has put up a save percentage of .902 and a 2.69 GAA. Samsonov finished with 23 saves on 26 shots against the Pittsburgh Penguins in his last start, which was not enough for the win.
The Capitals have the edge in the net with Samsonov getting the nod between the pipes. Elliott has lost his last three starts, putting up a save percentage of .810 or below in all three games. Philadelphia will look to get him more support in this one. If the Flyers can go on the attack early though, they could earn a big win in this one.
Philadelphia has struggled against the Capitals all season. The Flyers have lost five of the six games against Washington this season. I think that Philadelphia could bounce back with a big win in this one though. The Flyers have been up and down this season, but I think they will come out hot on Friday night as they look for a big bounce back performance.
BetOnline has Washington listed as a -172 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Capitals will win this game around 63.2 percent of the time. I think that this line is too high with Philadelphia still being competitive. If the Flyers can have a big bounce back game from Elliott, I think they will pull off the upset in this one. I am taking Philadelphia as big underdogs in this one.