The Washington Capitals (25-12-4) host Metropolitan divisional foe, the Philadelphia Flyers (15-20-6), for a 7:30 p.m. puck drop on Tuesday at Capital One Arena. This is the first of four meetings between the two Metropolitan teams this year. The game will be broadcasted on NBCSN and NBC Sports Washington Tuesday night.
The Capitals are coming off a 3-2 road win against the Detroit Red Wings on Sunday. Tom Wilson, Travis Boyd and Michal Kempny all recorded a goal in the game to help lift the team over the Red Wings and avoid a fourth straight loss.
The Flyers lost 3-2 in overtime against the Calgary Flames on Saturday, making it their fourth loss in 2019. They host the St. Louis Blues Monday night.
What to watch for in the Washington Capitals:
The Capitals ended their three-game losing streak with a come from behind win on Sunday. During that game, Evgeny Kuznestov recorded two assists, making it another multi-point night for the elite centerman. Tuesday night’s game will be Kuznestov’s sixteenth regular season meeting against the Flyers. In the past 15 games against the team, he has managed to only score two goals and tally nine assists. Looking to add to his current 29 assists this season, Kuznestov will be a big help in the offensive production for the Capitals top line, consisting of Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson.
In the last eight regular season matchups between the Capitals and Flyers, Nicklas Backstrom has managed three goals and four assists. He has yet to record a point in 2019 which could change in Tuesday night’s game. He currently leads the team in assists with 34, despite the funk he has been in since Dec. 31. He is also second on the team for points with 44.
Last season John Carlson had five assists and a goal in the four games that the two teams played last season. He sits just one assist behind Backstrom for most on the team and sits in third for points, only eight points behind Ovechkin for first on the team. Carlson is a key part to the defensive solidity that the team has had over the past few years, along with Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov and Brooks Orpik. He is also on track to record a career high in assists this year, which could help make him a possible early candidate for the Norris Trophy due to his defensive performance.
Expected in net for the Capitals we could see Phoenix Copley, as head coach Todd Reirden would probably want to rest Braden Holtby up for Thursday night’s tough matchup against the Boston Bruins.
What to watch for in the Philadelphia Flyers:
Claude Giroux has had a successful season, showing that he has no sign of slowing down despite being considered an older player in the league now. He has recorded 13 goals and 33 assists, leading his team in assists by 11, and in points by 14. Due to his performance this season, Giroux was the only Flyer to make the All-Star game roster. Last season, Giroux recorded two goals and three assists in the four games played against the Capitals. He is going to be a key player for the Flyers in Tuesday night’s matchup.
We could see the Flyers start Carter Hart tonight against the Blues, following a 3-2 overtime loss against the Calgary flames in which he saved 29 of 32 shots faced. This could leave Michal Neuvirth to play Tuesday’s game against his former team. There could also be a possibility of newly acquired goaltender Mike McKenna, who was claimed off the Vancouver Canucks waivers, to be in net for tonight’s matchup against the Blues.
Prediction: Capitals 5 – Flyers 3