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Preview: Flyers meet Capitals for penultimate game

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Oh, we’re almost there.

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

We can see the light at the end of the tunnel now.

The Washington Capitals are hosting the Philadelphia Flyers in the second match of a back-to-back on Saturday and I simply cannot wait to have my weekends free of this hockey team. A game that truly will have no effect on the outcome of the season for the Flyers, but can at least give the Capitals a boost above the Penguins for the top spot in the East Division, we still have some things to look out for and that can peak our general interest.

Even if you want the Flyers to so desperately try their hardest at tanking the rest of the season to try and optimize their draft capital, you can still cheer them on in this one. With the Montreal Canadiens two points ahead of them in the overall standings (with one game in hand as well) and the Chicago Blackhawks a whole three points behind them, there’s some wiggle room for our favorite hockey club to go out and get points while not risking their standing in the draft lottery.

Especially after Cam York’s impressive debut on Friday night, to see the Flyers show a glimpse of being a competent hockey team to close out this treacherous season, to give us just a nugget of hope in this current roster, would be absolutely delightful. Last night it was another rookie in Wade Allison putting on the show and scoring a brace to keep the Capitals’ hopes of winning the division at bay, so maybe the spotlight will turn to someone else tonight to ruin Washington’s fun.

Luckily for us, the Capitals are still likely without Alex Ovechkin and Justin Schultz due to injury, while Evgeny Kuznetsov and Ilya Samsonov remain on the NHL’s COVID protocol list.

In between the pipes will be Alex Lyon making his fifth start of the season. The “just a guy” of goaltenders has put up a .876 save percentage and a 3.69 goals against average this season and doesn’t really look much better than those numbers suggest. While the rest of the roster are getting some upgrades with young rookies coming in and strutting their stuff, goaltending is truly below-average.

Let’s at least try and enjoy this final weekend of Flyers Hockey.

Two Big Questions

Can Cam York get his first points?

I just wanted a section to talk about how nice it was to see York play last night. While we shouldn’t pin him as the savior of the blue line, his mobility and awareness — aside from a couple hiccups — were so apparent last night in the win over the Capitals.

With some rare time on the powerplay and the sleuth of talent that was able to play in front of him (he was on the ice with James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton the most out of any forward), York might be able to notch his first point before this season wraps up.

Are we in for a high-scoring affair?

The Flyers have averaged more goals against the Capitals than any other opponent this season, but they have also scored the second-most against them. With an average of 7.38 goals scored per game, every contest between these two teams are at least exciting.

Considering the fact that it’s he second half of a back-to-back, it is the second-last game of the season, and we will either be seeing an elderly Craig Anderson in net or Vitek Vanecek playing for the second consecutive night, things can get ugly fast for either team.

All I’m asking for is something to cheer for as I wash this entire season clean from my mind.