The Philadelphia Flyers are on the verge of rescuing what looked like a lost season. At press time, they’re holding down the last Wild Card berth in the Eastern Conference playoffs at 37-25-13. Philadelphia’s next game is this Wednesday (8 PM ET, NBCSN) against the best team in the NHL, the 54-16-5 Washington Capitals.
The Flyers have won eight of their 13 games this month despite having to go with Steve Mason (.918 save percentage) in goal while Michal Neuvirth (.925 SV%) was ill with a stomach virus – and after Neuvirth tore his meniscus the day he returned. Mason has played reasonably well, though, and aside from Neuvirth and defenseman Michal Del Zotto (torn wrist ligaments), Philadelphia is relatively healthy for a change.
Washington is projected to start No. 1 netminder Braden Holtby (.923 SV%) on Wednesday. Holtby has enjoyed yet another strong season for the Caps after finishing fourth in last year’s Vezina Trophy race. He’ll be joined by winger TJ Oshie (24 goals, 22 assists), who returned to action with a power-play goal in Monday’s 4-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets (+200 away) after missing two games with an undisclosed illness.