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Flyers at Capitals: Preview, TV info and game thread

The Flyers will try to keep their ever-so-slim playoff hopes alive by facing off with the division-rival Capitals.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

2014-15 NHL Season :: Game 53 of 82

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22-22-8 (52 points)
5th in Metropolitan
28-15-10 (66 points)
3rd in Metropolitan
Sunday, February 8, 2015 :: 3:00 p.m. ET
Verizon Center :: Washington, D.C., USA
Get the Washington perspective at Japers' Rink

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Sunday afternoon hockey! Because that always tends to go well. Some notes:

* So! The Flyers enter today 10th in the Eastern Conference and 5th in the Metropolitan Division. They are 11 points out of a playoff spot (behind the Bruins, who have played an equal number of games) and their nearest competition within the Metropolitan Division is probably the team they're facing off with today, the Washington Capitals. (Technically, the Caps are two points ahead of the Rangers for third place, but those Rangers also have three games in hand.)

* Their playoff chances are somewhere in the single-digit percentages, depending on where you look, and there are very few games they can afford to lose if they have any real interest in making the playoffs. Today's game is probably not one of those they can drop.

* The Flyers do have points in five straight games, including all four since the All-Star Break. But last Thursday's game against the Islanders was the sloppiest game they've played in that stretch, with Steve Mason pretty much pulling the team to a shootout despite the team's skaters getting handily outplayed. Things will probably need to be better across the board today to have much of a realistic shot at a win.

* A sad development that has taken place since the last time the Flyers played: Jakub Voracek is no longer alone at the top of the NHL scoring race. Patrick Kane and Tyler Seguin have both caught up to him. He and Claude Giroux have combined for just one point in the last three games (an assist by Voracek against Winnipeg) so now would be a great time for them to get out of what's probably been their coldest stretch of the season.

* That said, we aren't expecting much in the way of lineup change today. Michael Raffl is still having his "small bout of pneumonia" so he will probably miss this game. Braydon Coburn is with the team after missing the past month with a foot injury, so we could see him some day soon, but that day won't be today. Steve Mason is your likely starter in net.

Game at 3. CSN locally, NHL Network nationally. Go Flyers.