7:00 pm, Verizon Center, Washington DC
The two top teams in the Eastern Conference battle this evening at the Verizon Center, as the Washington Capitals host their old Patrick Division rivals, the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Caps come off a rough road loss; they were shut out and embarrassed by the Atlanta Thrashers 5-0 last night and got back to D.C. after 1:00 am early this morning. Coach Bruce Boudreau was cranky during his abbreviated pre-game press conference at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
Asked how his team would respond to the shellacking they took last night, Boudreau replaid, "I'll be curious, myself." And what does the coach expect to see from his charges? "Better effort."
Boudreau also made some interesting comments about forward Tomas Fleischmann, who skated exclusively on wing last night for the first time this season. "He's a natural wing. I think that's where he belongs."
At the center of negative attention last night was backup goalie Braden Holtby, who gave up three goals on five shots, the last of which he simply lost track of. Boudreau was not critical of his young netminder.
"I just patted him on the back and said 'we all have games like that.' He'll be ready again."
For his part, Holtby owned the performance and was resolute that he'd rebound the next time his number is called.
"I'm not going to pretend it's the first time this has happened to me before. It was tough, probably the worst feeling there is for a goalie. The biggest thing is not to have two bad games in a row and come back strong from this."
The Flyers come in following a tough loss as well, dropping an 8-7 decision to Tampa Bay Thursday night, surrendering three seperate two-goal leads along the way.
WAS: GF/G: 3.45 (4th); GA/G: 2.70 (11th); PP: 21.7% (8th); PK: 84.2% (T-10th); FO: 50/7% (T-12)