Capitals-Flyers Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated November 01, 2013
The Washington Capitals are 0-4 this season when Alex Ovechkin doesn't score. With last season's Hart Memorial Trophy winner out because of an upper-body injury, the Capitals will have to find another way to try and generate some offense. Washington will look to avoid a third straight loss when it closes out a five-game trip at Philadelphia on Friday night. Ovechkin was hurt Monday while crashing into the net during a 3-2 loss at Vancouver. The team said the injury is not a concussion, and coach Adam Oates said "maybe" when asked if he would play Saturday at home against Florida. Eric Fehr will move from center to right wing, joining Nicklas Backstrom and Martin Erat on the top line. Fehr has been a bottom-six forward this season. "You try not to do too much," Fehr told the team's official website. "And I've always said that playing on the top two lines is a different game than the bottom two lines. "It's not easy to be making that adjustment in and out of the top six. It's a lot of playmaking and not as much dump and chase, and you've really got to look for your guys as opposed to just cycling the puck." Ovechkin played in all 48 games during the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season. The Capitals (5-7-0) went 1-3 without him in 2011-12 when he missed one game due to injury and three to suspension. They're 11-8-2 in games he's missed throughout his career. Ovechkin hasn't scored the last two after netting 10 goals in the first 10 games. He missed a penalty shot 1:19 into Monday's loss, a game the Capitals led 2-1 after Mikhail Grabovski's goal at 1:52 of the third. They allowed two goals in the next 3:09. Jason Chimera scored a first-period goal for the Capitals and enters Friday with a three-game goal streak. He last scored in three straight from Dec. 3-9, 2009, but has never strung four together. He's one of seven Washington players with at least seven points, while Vincent Lecavalier is the only Flyers player with seven. Lecavalier has four goals in his last two games, including one in a 3-2 home loss to Anaheim on Tuesday. His first-period tally gave Philly a 2-0 lead before it managed just 13 shots over the final 40 minutes. "We stopped moving our feet and started watching the puck," Flyers captain Claude Giroux told the team's official website. "In the first period, I think we did a good job of skating and getting our feet going, but in the third period, we were puck-watching, and you can't do that against a good team like the Ducks." Before the loss, the Flyers (3-8-0) had won two in a row following a week off. Their 5-2 win against the New York Islanders on Saturday is their only game with more than two goals. The Flyers will also take the ice with some line changes after trading Maxime Talbot to Colorado for right wing Steve Downie. Downie played in Philadelphia for 32 games in 2007-08 and six in 2008-09 before he was traded to Tampa Bay. He had a goal and six assists in 11 games with Colorado. The Capitals will also be without defenseman John Erskine, who was placed on long-term injured reserve Wednesday with an upper-body injury. The team recalled defenseman Dmitry Orlov and center Michael Latta from its AHL affiliate in Hershey. The Flyers have won five of their last six against the Capitals, including a pair of home victories last season.
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