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Washington Capitals Preview
After a slow start in their opening round-robin contest Monday, the Washington Capitals will look to improve following a 3-2 shootout defeat to the Tampa Bay Lightning.
The Capitals, entering a Thursday matchup with the Philadelphia Flyers, have one point in the battle for seeding among the top four teams in the Eastern Conference. Washington’s Richard Panik and Evgeny Kuznetsov each scored a goal in the second period Monday after the Lightning took a 2-0 lead.
Defenseman John Carlson, the team’s top scorer in the regular season with 75 points (15 goals, 60 assists), did not play against Tampa Bay after sustaining an undisclosed injury in an exhibition game, but he was on the ice at practice Wednesday. Braden Holtby will again start in goal.
Philadelphia Flyers Preview
Philadelphia goalie Brian Elliott will start the Flyers’ Thursday round-robin matchup against the Washington Capitals, a game after 21-year-old Carter Hart became the youngest Philadelphia Flyers goalie to win a playoff contest.
Hart made 34 saves as the Flyers defeated the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Sunday to earn two points after one round-robin contest. Michael Raffl, Nate Thompson, Philippe Myers and Scott Laughton all scored goals.
Philadelphia went 3-0-1 in the regular season against the Capitals, capturing the final three meetings — with Elliott in goal for the last two. Travis Konecny recorded three goals and one assists this season against Washington, and Sean Couturier logged two goals and two assists in those contests.