Flyers Notes: Caps will be without Ovechkin
Flyers Notes The Flyers will catch a break tomorrow night when they host the Washington Capitals, who will be without superstar Alex Ovechkin.
The Flyers will catch a break tomorrow night when they host the Washington Capitals, who will be without superstar Alex Ovechkin.
Ovechkin, perhaps the NHL's best all-around player, will be sitting out the last game of his two-game suspension, handed down because he extended his knee while hitting Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason on Monday.
"It's an opportunity for us because obviously they're without their top goal scorer," defenseman Chris Pronger said before last night's game against Vancouver.
"Having said that, teams play desperately when they're down," Pronger said. "And certainly missing him, they'll want to make a point that they can play without him, and we have to be prepared for that."
Ovechkin, who leads the Caps with 18 goals and 30 points, received a major penalty for kneeing and a game misconduct on Monday.
The left winger has scored two goals in each of the two games against the Flyers this season. The teams split those contests.
"You have to have a huge awareness of him on the ice . . . but they've won games without him," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "They have other guys who step up and almost look excited to play more when he's not playing. Their team game is strong."
Former Flyer Mike Knuble had five goals and 15 points in 19 games for the Caps before last night.
With Danny Briere back in the lineup last night after a three-game absence, the Flyers' lines started to have a semblance of order.
Here is how the lines looked last night: Jeff Carter centering for Briere and Scott Hartnell; Mike Richards centering for James van Riemsdyk and Mika Pyorala; Claude Giroux centering for Dan Carcillo and Arron Asham; and Jon Kalinski centering for Andreas Nodl and Ian Laperriere.
Blair Betts and Darroll Powe are rehabbing shoulder injuries and aren't expected to return until early January.
To keep his players fresh, Stevens said he would begin making optional more skates the mornings of games as the Flyers get into a brutal part of their schedule. Including last night's contest, they will have played 12 games in 21 days. . . . Briere, who was an alternate captain last night, entered the game needing 11 points to reach 500 for his career. - Sam Carchidi