Open thread: Capitals vs. Flyers

March 2

(Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

The Capitals look to set a season-best mark with a fifth straight win Sunday afternoon as they host Philadelphia in the first of consecutive games between the two teams this week that will have significant implications in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The Flyers enter Sunday’s matinee third in the Metropolitan Division just one point ahead of Washington, which is looking to leapfrog into that playoff spot.

Washington will be without Mikhail Grabovski (sprained left ankle) for the 10th time in the last 11 games. The Capitals will have Martin Erat back in the lineup, though, after he sat out against the Bruins with a lower body injury. He had been hobbled by taking a slap shot off his foot against Florida on Thursday.

Braden Holtby (19-13-2, 2.89 goals-against average, .913 save percentage) will start a fifth straight game for the Capitals while Steve Mason (24-15-5, 2.54 goals-against average, .917 save percentage) gets the nod for the Flyers.

Discuss the game right here and pass the time before puck drop with these reads.

Last time out: Caps win fourth straight with 4-2 victory in Boston

Five thoughts on the win over the Bruins | “That’s not a milestone”

Kuznetsov will live with Ovechkin when he arrives

Greenberg: Temper expectations for Kuznetsov

Faceoff: 12:30 p.m., Verizon Center
TV: NBC | Radio: 106.7 FM

Be sure to check back after warmups for the Caps’ finalized roster.

Forwards
Laich-Backstrom-Ovechkin
Erat-Johansson-Brouwer
Chimera-Fehr-Ward
Deschamps-Beagle-Wilson

Defense
Alzner-Carlson
Orlov-Green
Erskine-Carrick

Goal:  Holtby, Neuvirth.
Scratches: Mikhail Grabovski (left ankle) and Casey Wellman.
LTIR: Jack Hillen (fractured tibial plateau, expected to play in Hershey Sunday) and Aaron Volpatti (left shoulder).

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