Before this game, Washington had some business to take care of against their fellow Southeast rival Carolina Hurricanes. They were looking to continue their hot run by building momentum heading into this bruising game against the Flyers.
That’s exactly what happened last night at the Verizon Center. Braden Holtby shut the door on Carolina as he pitched his first shutout of the year.
The blazing hot power play (2nd in the league) tallied another goal when Mike Ribeiro and Alex Ovechkin combined passes to feed Niklas Backstrom the puck for a Washington goal, the eventual game-winner.
Tonight, the Caps will renew a rivalry with the Flyers that is anything but pretty. These teams like to hit, they like to talk, and most importantly, they like to put on some of the better hockey games of the season.
Remember, the Capitals and Flyers did battle earlier in the year on Feb. 1, when Washington played one of their better games a notched a 3-2 victory at home.
But an important factor will be the goaltending. Braden Holtby has started eight straight games, and Michael Neuvirth is sick. So today, the Capitals recalled Philipp Grubauer from Hershey. Holtby will get his ninth straight start in net, but it is possible that Grubauer will see some time considering we just don’t know how fresh Holtby will be.