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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, December 17th (All times Eastern)
Washington Capitals (18-12-3) at Philadelphia Flyers (14-15-4), 7:30 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - Twice in their last three games the Washington Capitals have rallied from three-goals down to win in a shootout.
The Caps hope to make things easier for themselves on Tuesday night when they complete a home-and-home series with the hosting Philadelphia Flyers.
Washington has gone to a shootout in three straight games, including last Tuesday when it rallied from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps then dropped a 3-2 decision at Florida on Friday before completing another comeback Sunday to beat the Flyers 5-4.
Trailing 4-1 midway through the third period, Washington got goals from Mike Green, Dmitry Orlov and Alex Ovechkin during a 7:52 span, with Ovechkin's league-leading 28th goal of the season tying the game with 48 seconds on the clock.
Both teams then found the back of the net once through the first two rounds of the shootout before Nicklas Backstrom beat Steve Mason with a forehander to put Washington in front. Philipp Grubauer followed with a stop on Philadelphia's Sean Couturier.
"I think we had luck on our side today," said Ovechkin, who has seven goals and nine points over his last seven games and was named the NHL's First Star of the week on Monday.
Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson both finished with a goal and an assist, while Joel Ward and Backstrom contributed two helpers each. Grubauer ended with 24 saves to help fuel the rally and move the Capitals to 6-1-1 over their last eight.
"Nothing changed. (We got) a little bit of luck on the first goal," said Caps head coach Adam Oates of the comeback. "We got some life. The emotion of the game I guess would be the one thing. Obviously the crowd gets into it and you feel a little bit better and make a push, win a draw and before you know it, it's a game."
Ovechkin passed Mike Gartner (397) for second on Washington's all-time goal- scoring list and now trails only Peter Bondra's 472 tallies.
Backstrom, meanwhile, has two goals and seven assists over his last three games and has totaled 26 helpers and 37 points in 23 career games against the Flyers.
Philadelphia got goals from Couturier, Claude Giroux, Mark Streit and Jakub Voracek, while Steve Mason came up with 29 saves.
"I'm not sure that we relaxed," noted Philly coach Craig Berube. "I thought that we were in our end too much there at the end instead of making some plays and getting down in their end a little bit and killing time and getting some offensive chances."
The Flyers dipped to 2-5-3 in their last 10 on the road, but enter the finale of this set having won six straight at home.
Including a 7-0 victory in Philadelphia on Nov. 1, the Capitals have won nine of their last 16 versus the Flyers. The clubs have split the past six played in Philly.
Washington's Mikhail Grabovski did not play on Saturday due to the flu and did not practice on Monday.
12/17 10:41:11 ET
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