Caps Game Night – 7pm vs. Philadelphia

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Loose Pucks,Sports,Brian McNally

Capitals (1-5-1, 3 points) vs. Philadelphia Flyers (2-5-0, 4 points)

Game » 8

When » Friday, Feb. 1

Where » Verizon Center

TV » Comcast SportsNet HD

Radio » WJFK-FM 106.7; WFED-AM 1500

A pair of teams off to rough starts so far this season. Both need a win and that should make for some decent hockey tonight at Verizon Center. The Capitals can jump Philadelphia in the conference standings with a victory and shake off a troubling two-game road trip to Ottawa and Toronto where they twice blew one-goal leads in the third period.

Alex Ovechkin has scored two goals in his last three games, but as general manager George McPhee has said the experiment at right wing is not over. Ovechkin moves back there on Friday on a top line with Wojtek Wolski and center Mike Ribeiro. That provides a little more complementary firepower than grinders Joey Crabb and Jay Beagle, whom Ovechkin had skated with the previous four games.

One thing Washington can’t do tonight: Take five penalties in the first 11 minutes of the game. That ruined any rhythm they had early against the Maple Leafs on Thursday. And playing for the fourth time seven nights they looked gassed in the third period as Toronto rallied for the victory.

That’s a tough question in a sense that obviously we say it every day,” Caps coach Adam Oates said. “But a lot of the penalties last night were stick penalties. Couple in the offensive zone. And it’s being called now so you got to be in control of your stick. It might be a little focus. But they got to be in control.”

Braden Holtby will start in goal for the first time since the Jan. 22 game against Winnipeg. Michal Neuvirth had started the last four games. The lines:

Wojtek Wolski-Mike Ribeiro-Alex Ovechkin

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-Troy Brouwer

Mike Chimera-Jay Beagle-Joel Ward

Matt Hendricks-Joey Crabb-Eric Fehr

Follow me on Twitter @bmcnally14

 

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Author:

Brian McNally

Staff writer - sports
The Washington Examiner