|Can the Caps keep it up against an elite Eastern club?|
Ilya Bryzgalov will start for Peter Laviolette's men, his sixth consecutive appearance in the Philadelphia crease. Bryzgalov, who had struggled for most of the year, has been on fire of late, and on the campaign is 30-14-7 with a 2.48 GAA, .910 save percentage, and six shutouts; four of those shutouts have come in the last three weeks. Outside the crease, the Flyers are suffering from several key injuries: defenseman and captain Chris Pronger, out with severe post concussion syndrome; winger James van Riemsdyk, sidelined because of foot surgery; and defenseman Andrej Meszaros, who recently had a bad disc removed from his lower back.
After he won in Detroit with a nice performance, I would expect Braden Holtby to get the call in goal this evening. Holtby has only played in two games this year, allowing eight goals on 78 shots, and is 1-1. On the injury front, the Caps are still without star center Nicklas Backstrom, sidelined with a concussion, though he has skated for seven of the last eight says and is improving. Winger Alexander Semin missed practice Wednesday and is expected to play, but he has to be considered questionable as he missed the last eight minutes of Monday's win. If Semin does not play, Joel Ward will return to the lineup in his stead. If he does play, expect Dale Hunter to keep the same lineup that won in Detroit, which means Ward out along with Dmitry Orlov and John Erskine.
Puck drops 7:08-ish. And, as always, follow me on Twitter here for news and updates.