Flyers-Capitals: Philadelphia Looks to Gain 3-1 Advantage Tonight
The Flyers haven't really felt Ovechkin's presence yet. A.O.'s only contribution to the series, a game one goal, has left the Caps without a scoring threat the last two games.
The Caps have scored on three goals the last two games on a total of just 43 shots. The free shooting Ovechkin has been slowed to nine shots over the last two games despite averaging almost six per game.
Without Ovechkin controlling the game, the Caps lack the ability to get solid scoring opportunities from its second and third lines. The added pressure Ovechkin's line creates forces the defense into taking bad penalties to stop the onslaught.
The Flyers need to keep the constant fore check going to prevent Washington from getting out into open ice where Ovechkin is at his best. The Flyers also need to be careful though, fore checking, like a full court pressure in basketball, can lead to easy opportunities.
The Flyers continue to send an extra man forward to stop passes coming out of Washington's zone. One good outlet pass can spring Ovechkin on a breakaway. Eventually he'll show why he's scored 165 goals in just three seasons in the NHL.
Philadelphia has been rolling so far through this series on the offensive end, but something they do need to improve on is the powerplay.
The Flyers were near the top of league in the powerplay all season, but in this series, they are only two of 16. The second and third games could have been decided a lot earlier if the Flyers could have cashed in on more than just one of their 13 powerplay opportunities.
The aggressive fore check has kept the pressure on the Washington defense which has led to 13 powerplays the last two games. The Flyers need to make them pay for the Caps inability to move the puck.
This game will probably prove to be a little closer than the last two. Alex Ovechkin is too good and too much of a game changer for the Flyers to be able to absolute control the game for a third straight contest.
Tonight will probably be another high scoring affair, especially if the Flyers can continue to fore check like they have been.
CuseAdelphia prediction: Philadelphia 4, Washington 3.
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