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Flyers vs. Capitals preview, lineups, how to watch and discussion thread

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It’s Rivalry Night! Against an actual rival! Hooray!

NHL: Nashville Predators at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

The Flyers haven’t played a Metropolitan Division team since November 25, when they lost to the Rangers on Black Friday. But they’ll finally hit the ice against a literal rival on Wednesday night when they host the Washington Capitals.

It’s a national game so it’s an 8 p.m. start time, and the game will be on NBC Sports Network. You can stream live here, or through the NBC Sports app.

Washington comes to town on the heels of a 2-1 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. They sit one point behind the Flyers in the Metropolitan Division standings, but they’ve played four fewer games, so this is a big game for Philadelphia tonight in terms of closing that gap a bit.

The Caps are led offensively by — hey, what a surprise, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. Their power play has been sagging a bit compared to recent years, sitting at 11th in the NHL so far this season.

Overall, they don’t quite feel like the offensive power house we think of them as, and in fact the Flyers have been slightly more potent an offensive team when looking at shot generation. And when looking at goals, both at even strength and the power play, the Flyers are a better offensive team than the Capitals. Defensively, of course, the Caps have been very solid though -- they’ve only allowed 66 goals against! Goaltending has been a large part of that as it was last year, too, as Holtby has carried a .925 save percentage through 23 games.

T.J. Oshie has been nursing an injury and has missed seven games. He’ll be out again tonight for Washington. Holtby will start in goal.

Dale Weise will return to the lineup, subbing back in for Boyd Gordon after a one game absence on Monday night. Steve Mason again gets the start in goal for the Flyers, who are looking to climb out of this little two-game skid before heading on the road Thursday night against New Jersey.

Flyers lineup

Forwards
  1. Michael Raffl - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek
  2. Travis Konecny - Brayden Schenn - Wayne Simmonds
  3. Taylor Leier - Nick Cousins - Dale Weise
  4. Chris VandeVelde - P-E Bellemare - Roman Lyubimov
Defense
  1. Andrew MacDonald - Ivan Provorov
  2. Brandon Manning - Shayne Gostisbehere
  3. Michael Del Zotto - Radko Gudas
Goalies
  1. Steve Mason
  2. Anthony Stolarz

Scratches: Boyd Gordon, Nick Schultz

Injuries: Sean Couturier, Michal Neuvirth, Meat Read, Mark Streit

Washington lineup

Forwards
  1. Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
  2. Marcus Johansson - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
  3. Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
  4. Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson
Defense
  1. Karl Alzner - John Carlson
  2. Dmitri Orlov - Matt Niskanen
  3. Brooks Orpik - Nate Schmidt
Goalies
  1. Braden Holtby
  2. Phillip Grubauer