The Philadelphia Flyers played the first part of the home-and-home series against the Washington Capitals on Sunday in Washington. Tonight, the Flyers play host to the Capitals in the Wells Fargo Center in part two of the series. The Flyers are looking for redemption after Sunday's horrific loss.
THIRD PERIOD COLLAPSE
The Flyers collapsing in the third period has become a normal thing to see this season. They haven't done it much recently, but earlier in the season it was almost predictable as to what would happen once the third period started. Sunday's game in Washington was probably one of the worst collapses the Flyers have had this season. The Flyers lead the Capitals 4-1 and blew their three goal lead, sending the game to overtime and an eventual shootout loss.
Tonight, the Flyers are looking to redeem themselves after that loss and get back to their winning ways. Hopefully Sunday's loss was the kick the Flyers needed in order to turn things around… again… and make their way to a .500 record.
There is only one way they can do this and that is to play all 60 minutes, not just the first 40 and coast to the end. When the Flyers play all 60 minutes, they actually win games. When they try coasting to the end, that's when we see these horrific third period collapses. Expect the Flyers to play all 60 minutes this time against the Capitals.
RAFFL IS THE ANSWER TO THE FIRST LINE?
Michael Raffl is probably the hottest players on the Flyers right now. In the last six games, Raffl has tallied two goals and five assists. His season totals are two goals and six assists. Since he was put on the top line to play with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek two games ago, Raffl has scored one goal and tallied three assists. Half of his total point production has come in the past two games!
Since being put on the top line two games ago, Raffl has four of the 11 points that Raffl, Giroux and Voracek have combined for. This is the kind of production that the Flyers have been waiting to see come out of the top line this season after they were struggling earlier in the season. Even the entire team was struggling at the beginning of the season.
Vorcek has three goals in the past four games and Giroux had an assists and a goal in Sunday's loss. With Raffl in the mix on the top line now, things look very bright for the Flyers. In Sunday's loss, the top line was the best looking line for the Flyers has the trio combined for six points (two goals, four assists).
NO SHOOTOUT TONIGHT
The Flyers need to make sure that the game is over by the end of overtime if it goes that far. The Capitals are on fire with shootouts this season as they have won eight of their 11 shootouts this season. They have forced five of their past 10 games to a shootout. After losing to the Capitals in a shootout on Sunday, it is safe to say that the odds are not in favor of the Flyers if they go to a shootout against the Caps tonight.
WHO IS STARTING BETWEEN THE PIPES TONIGHT?
Steve Mason will be starting between the pipes tonight for the Flyers. Mason played well on Sunday despite the loss. It wasn't his fault for the third period collapse, but there was nothing he could do as the Capitals just broke the Flyers down and took control. He played well in overtime and forced the game to a shootout. It was the right choice by head coach Craig Berube to start Mason tonight so that Mason's confidence is not hurt. It is better for a goalie to come back after a loss like Sunday's and get their head back in the game. Look for Mason to put on a good performance tonight and pick up the win for the Flyers.
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