Washington Capitals (29-23-10) at Philadelphia Flyers (32-24-6)
|Date & Time||Wednesday March 5, 2014, 8:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Philadelphia Flyers -147 / Washington Capitals +134 --- Over/Under: 6
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The Flyers and Capitals jockey for positioning in the Metropolitan division when the two rivals meet up on Wednesday night in Philly.
The Capitals have played quite well since returning from the Olympic break and wtheter that has to do with Alex Ovechkin making amends for his disappointing effort in Sochi or not is up for debate but he is certainly playing much better. The Capitals were expected to contend with the Penguins for top spot in the division this year but they are far from achieving that mark and at the moment do not hold down a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Washington has made some moves in the last couple of days to help them get stronger on the back end and some more trades could be on the horizon before today’s trade deadline hits but either way the Caps will be hard pressed to do some damage in the postseason with this roster. Washington heads into Philly looking to chase down the Flyers for second place in the division which would secure an automatic berth into the postseason and avoid having to play on the road in the first round.
The Flyers have transformed their season after starting out very slowly once again this year but their recent surge has them as one of the game’s hottest teams and I think they will slip into the playoffs as the two or three seed out of the Metropolitan. Philadelphia still has a ton of talented players from their Cup run against Chicago four years back and while some integral pieces have moved on they still have a solid core built for the playoffs. Philly has some structure between the pipes for the first time in ages as Steve Mason has taken over as the every night guy and while he has enjoyed sporadic success throughout his career he is certainly the best option for the Flyers moving forward. Philly added shot blocking defenseman Andrew Macdonald yesterday and his presence on the blue line certainly makes the Flyers better but how much remains to be soon and we could get our first look here. Ultimately I think these teams are pretty close in terms of talent but I do give the nod to Philly as I think they have more offensive depth and in a game that will be pretty tight I favour the home team slightly.