NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Sunday, January 13th
(All times eastern)
Philadelphia Flyers (22-15-5) at Washington Capitals (18-20-5), 1 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Alexander Ovechkin will play his first game since signing
the richest deal in NHL history, as he leads the Washington Capitals today at
the Verizon Center in an afternoon tilt against the visiting Philadelphia
On Thursday evening, the Capitals announced that they inked Ovechkin to a 13-
year, $124 million contract that will keep the Russian superstar in Washington
through the 2020-21 campaign.
Ovechkin was in the final year of his entry-level deal and would have been a
restricted free agent at the end of the season. He leads the club in goals
(32) and points (52) this season.
The top overall pick in the 2004 draft, Ovechkin has registered 250 points
(130 goals, 120 assists) in 206 career games.
The Capitals last played on Wednesday and posted a close win over visiting
Colorado. Olaf Kolzig carried a shutout deep into the third period and
finished with 18 saves as Washington downed the Avalanche, 2-1, at Verizon
Donald Brashear and David Steckel each scored third-period goals for the
Capitals, who have won two straight and four of their last five games.
Today's test marks the second segment of a five-game homestand for Washington,
which is 9-10-1 as the host this year.
Meanwhile, the Flyers were dealt just their second loss in eight games, as
they were handed an overtime loss by visiting Boston on Saturday. Aaron Ward
scored 43 seconds into OT to lift the Bruins to a 4-3 victory at the Wachovia
Jeff Carter posted a goal and an assist for the Flyers, who had a three-game
winning streak stopped and dropped to 6-1-1 in their last eight outings.
Antero Niittymaki finished with 28 saves for the Flyers and had his four-game
winning streak halted. Martin Biron is expected to start in goal today, as he
gets the call for the first time since losing to the New Jersey Devils on
The Flyers are 14-10-0 as the visiting club this season and have won three
straight and five of their last six tests as the road team.
The Flyers and Caps have split a pair of meetings this year, but Washington
has taken five of six and six of the last nine encounters. Philadelphia has
also tasted defeat in four of its previous six stops in the nation's capital.
01/13 10:31:06 ET