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Rivalry Night on NBCSN: Reacquired Gagne looks to lead Flyers past Capitals

Feb 27, 2013, 8:03 AM EST

Image (4) simongagne6-thumb-250x442-16182-thumb-250x442-16183.jpg for post 15373

Throughout the season, NBCSN will feature the NHL’s fiercest rivalries on Wednesday nights. Tonight the Washington Capitals will head to the Wells Fargo Center for a match against the Philadelphia Flyers at 7:30 p.m. ET.

After a devastating 4-2 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren made his first effort of the season to try and right the ship by acquiring a familiar face in Simon Gagne from the Los Angeles Kings.

“It’s going to be a special game,” Gagne said of tonight’s contest in a Philadelphia Inquirer report, “but I’ll try to take all that emotion and try to bring that energy to the game.”

For Gagne, this will be the start of a quest for redemption. Mere months after helping the Kings win the Stanley Cup, Gagne found himself being pushed out of the Kings’ lineup. Now that he’s got a chance to fill a hole on a battered squad, Philadelphia can only hope that he helps propel them out of mediocrity.

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The Washington Capitals won’t get any major reinforcements for this game, but lately they’ve gotten something better: Alex Ovechkin playing like Alex Ovechkin.

The superstar forward hasn’t lived up to expectations in recent years, but he has broken out lately with six goals and 12 points in his last 10 games. His efforts have helped the Capitals win five of their last seven games as Washington tries to dig itself out of a rather sizable hole.

Both teams desperately need points as they try and overcome their early season slumps. That should make for a heated contest.

Probable goaltenders: WAS – Braden Holtby (6-6-0, 3.07 GAA, .905 SV%) | PHI – Ilya Bryzgalov (9-9-1, 2.79 GAA, .900 SV%)

Top scorers: WAS – Mike Ribeiro (6-16-22, 18 GP) | PHI – Jakub Voracek (8-16-24, 21 GP)

Notable Injuries:
Washington – Forwards: Marcus Johansson (upper body), Brooks Laich (groin) Defensemen: Jack Hillen (shoulder)
Philadelphia – Forwards: Tye McGinn (eye), Matt Read (ribs), Jody Shelley (hip) Defensemen: Andrej Meszaros (shoulder), Marc-Andre Bourdon (concussion), Chris Pronger (concussion) Defensemen: Goaltenders: Michael Leighton (finger)

Related:

NHL on NBCSN: Kings, Red Wings look to stay hot

  1. xflyersx - Feb 27, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    How about we don’t come out skating like a bunch of blind grandma’s in our defensive end in the first period?! Put some goals up, welcome Gags back with a W, let’s goooooo

    • phillyphanatic77 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      Yes a fast start would be a nice change of pace, instead of starting out almost every contest down 1-0. They can’t play like they did against Toronto in their own zone; more watching than playing. Both teams need these points which should make for an entertaining game. And keep the elbows down Erskine.

      • dipthatchip - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:55 AM

        damn, forgot all about that. johnny on the spot will def have a target on his back

      • xflyersx - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:24 AM

        I bet they’re close to the league lead in allowing the first goal. So frustrating to watch.

    • dipthatchip - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:50 AM

      if the caps play like they have in the past two games, tonight’s match should be pretty epic

  2. colonelfancy - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Caps fans have a good reason to be giddy if Backstrom returns to the player he was two years ago. And if Simon Gagne can ignite some quick start offense instead of the Flyers relying on Bryz to save them and they fight from behind all the time, they can salvage a playoff run.

  3. mclovinhockey - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:35 AM

    I would not call this a rivalry.
    Welcome back Simon.

    • blackfoot11 - Feb 27, 2013 at 9:45 AM

      I would agree, but the NHL loves their old division rivalries. These teams played some legendary games in the old Patrick division. Go Caps!

      • stakex - Feb 27, 2013 at 6:25 PM

        That, and there are only so many modern rivalries… and even fewer that are good for national TV. So some of these Rivalry Night games aren’t going to be exactlly that.

  4. lionsflyersandredbirds - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Two underachieving teams who need wins pretty desperately right now to get back to .500. Ovi and Backs are heating up for the caps as well as G and Voracek for the flyers. Should be an interesting and high-pace matchup.

    I’m really curious as to how the whole Erskine-Simmonds situation will pan out tonight. Can probably expect a fight or two plus some booming hits from both teams.

  5. lizardlickk - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Caps looked good last night, albeit against an injured canes team. The wheels are starting to turn in the right direction

  6. mp1113 - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:25 AM

    Gunna be a great game. Hopefully the caps can keep up what they have been doing the last few games. They seem to have started playing and buying into Oates system for a full game.

  7. capsfan19 - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:28 AM

    Hopefully flyers stay on their downtrend and caps keep on movin up!
    Holtby has gone beast mode and the team is beginning to play as a team.
    I also wanna point out vokoun is a joke pens fans. And last night was a perfect example

    • hockeywithdrawal - Feb 27, 2013 at 10:37 AM

      He’s looked brilliant at times and then downright silly at times, I’ll give you that. I can’t fault him for last night, though…undisciplined play gave Florida too many PP chances, and they capitalized…the Pens turned him into a target last night.

      • dipthatchip - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:49 AM

        why are you talking about vokoun and theo?

      • dipthatchip - Feb 27, 2013 at 11:50 AM

        i’m an idiot. carry on

  8. bru308 - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    In a post about the Caps – Flyers game tonight, you guys are talking about the Pens. Just throwing that out there….

  9. buffalomafia - Feb 27, 2013 at 12:30 PM

    All this trade talk & nothing about trying to get a goalie?

  10. obnoxiousDCfan - Feb 27, 2013 at 1:12 PM

    Caps fans hate Pens fans because they boo Ovechkin every time he touches the puck, yet you bring up Vokoun in an article about the Caps and Flyers…

    I hope the guys keep the fire going tonight. They’ve been looking like the Caps should look lately.

  11. capsfan19 - Feb 27, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    Cant i just throw in my two cents? There was no article about that game!
    Im aware what the article is about and i feel confident that how this team is playing they can beat the flyers.

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