Monday, February 8, 2016

Flyers face shaky Caps; Gus recalled

When the Flyers play in Washington on Sunday night, they will try to take advantage of the Capitals' shaky special teams.

Flyers face shaky Caps; Gus recalled


When the Flyers play in Washington on Sunday night, they will try to take advantage of the Capitals' shaky special teams.

The Caps' special teams have been outscored, 21-7, in their last 21 games dating to Jan. 11.

Oh, and the Caps have allowed four shorthanded goals in the last 10 games, during which they have clicked on just 2 of 34 power-play attempts (5.9 percent).

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Aiming for a winning streak.  The Flyers, coming off a 6-3 win over the Islanders on Thursday, will be trying to get off to a positive start for the first time in nearly a month.

Opponents have scored the first goal in the Flyers' last nine games.

The Flyers are gunning for consecutive wins for the first time since Jan. 10-12. Since then, they are just 9-9-3.

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Wellwood is back. Left winger Eric Wellwood, who had a goal, two assists and a plus-6 rating in five earlier games with the Flyers, was recalled from the Phantoms and rejoined the big-league club on Saturday.

“He’s smart, plays with speed and is a good checker,” coach Peter Laviolette said after Saturday’s practice in Voorhees. “Every time he’s been up here, he’s done a nice job for us.”

This is the fourth time Wellwood has been recalled this season.

The Flyers decided to add a player because James van Riemsdyk is sidelined for the rest of the regular season with a broken left foot.

Wellwood, who will turn 22 on Tuesday, or Jody Shelley will play Sunday night in Washington, a team fighting for its playoff lives. Laviolette seemed to be leaning toward Wellwood.

In 33 games with the Phantoms this season, Wellwood had nine goals and 12 assists.

A sixth-round draft pick in 2009, Wellwood said the speed of the players hasn’t been a problem in his brief NHL stints.

“I think that’s one of my strengths. I don’t find it any faster (in the NHL),” said Wellwood, whose brother, Kyle, plays for the Winnipeg Jets. “I think people REACT faster….So it’s not necessarily the guys are faster, but the game’s going quicker,  and everybody’s thinking a little step ahead.”

Washington is in ninth place in the Eastern Conference, but is just three points behind Florida in the Southeast Division. Florida is third in the East. There is a chance the Caps and Flyers could meet in the opening round of the next month’s Stanley Cup playoffs.

“You could probably go through a million scenarios like that,” Laviolette said. “I think we’re more focused on the two points right now than a playoff scenario. I haven’t thought about that. I’m thinking more about the win and the two points on the road.”

The Flyers are a very healthy 20-11-2 in road games.

Gus recalled. Defensemen Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros all had maintenance days, said GM GM Paul Holmgren, implying they would play Sunday. The Flyers, however, later announced they had recalled Erik Gusfasson from the Phantoms, making Holmgren's statement puzzling.

Anrdeas Lilja, who hasn’t played since Feb. 16, is available.

Breakaways. Claude Giroux has 13 points in his last seven games (goal, 12 assists).....Danny Briere is goal-less in his last 18 games.

Staff Writer
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