WASHINGTON — As they get ready to play the host Washington Capitals in a critical matchup Wednesday night, the Flyers’ confidence level has never been higher.

And with good reason. They have won a season-high six straight, all four lines are contributing, and the defense and goaltending have been excellent.

Oh, and since they returned from a 1-4-1 road trip after Christmas, they have been one of the NHL’s best teams and have statements wins against Washington (twice), Boston, St. Louis, Colorado, and Pittsburgh.

“We’ve been playing great as a team,” center Kevin Hayes said. “I think the guys in this locker room believe we can play against anyone, and [the Capitals] are one of the best teams in the league, so it’s a good game to see where we are.”

Left winger Scott Laughton said the Flyers “can’t look back on what we’ve done and all the success we’ve had in the last few weeks. We have to focus on this game. We’ve taken it one game at a time, and we have to continue to do that.”

The Flyers are three points behind the first-place Caps in the Metro race. Is this the Flyers’ most important game of the season?

“It’s a big game for both teams,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “Both teams are fighting to get into the playoffs — and nobody’s got a check mark [signifying they have clinched a spot] right now. So there are two points to grab, and we’re going to do everything we can to grab them.”

The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) getting checked by the Flyers' Tyler Pitlick during the third period at Capital One Arena on Feb. 8. The Flyers won the game, 7-2.
Patrick Smith / MCT
The Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin (8) getting checked by the Flyers' Tyler Pitlick during the third period at Capital One Arena on Feb. 8. The Flyers won the game, 7-2.

Goalie matchup

Brian Elliott will face the Capitals’ Braden Holtby in a goalie rematch of a Feb. 8 game, won by the visiting Flyers, 7-2, in Washington.

Elliott, 34, is 15-7-4 with a 2.90 goals-against average and .899 save percentage. Holtby, 30, is 24-13-5 with a 3.12 GAA and .898 save percentage.

In his career against the Flyers, Holtby is 13-6-8 with a 2.60 GAA and .912 save percentage. Elliott is 9-7 with a 3.16 GAA and .893 save percentage against Washington.

Breakaways

Since Feb. 1, the Flyers are 11-3, while the Caps are 5-7-1. … Both teams have been dominating in the third period this season. The Flyers have outscored opponents, 81-59, in that stanza, and Washington has an 89-68 advantage in the third. … The Caps’ T.J. Oshie will play in his 800th game Wednesday. … The Flyers have scored four goals or more during each game in their six-game winning streak. … Alex Ovechkin needs six goals to pass Mike Gartner (708 goals) for the seventh most in NHL history. … With an average weight of 205 pounds, the Caps are the league’s third-heaviest team, behind the Islanders (205.9 pounds) and Dallas (205.2). The Flyers have an average weight of 200.2 pounds.