Ovechkin conquered, now Flyers try to do the same to McDavid, Draisaitl and Oilers
Lost in the shuffle of the Philadelphia Flyers’ 2-1 win over Washington on Saturday was that Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin was again blanked by Philly.
In three games against the Flyers this season, Ovechkin has zero points.
Hard to believe, Harry.
Can the Flyers carry that defensive magic into Tuesday’s game against visiting Edmonton and their sensational centers, Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl?
Good luck with that.
McDavid, 25, and Florida’s Jonathan Huberdeau share the NHL lead with 75 points. The fleet 6-foot-1, 193-pound McDavid has 28 goals, which is tied for seventh in the league.
Draisaitl, 26, who centers the Oilers’ second line, is second in the NHL with 36 goals, one behind Toronto’s Auston Matthews, and he is third in the league with 74 points.
Defenseman Ivan Provorov said the Flyers can’t give the star centers too much respect, and that they have to be “in their face” the entire game.
Interim coach Mike Yeo said he won’t have any players shadow McDavid or Draisaitl, and that defending them must be done “by committee.”
This will be the only game McDavid and Draisaitl play at the Wells Fargo Center this season. McDavid had a goal and an assist, and Draisaitl had a helper in the host Oilers’ 5-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Oct. 27.
McDavid has a staggering 26 multiple-point games this season; the 6-2, 208-pound Draisaitl has 20 multi-point games..
The key to containing McDavid and Draisaitl, right winger Travis Konecny said earlier this season, is for the Flyers to control the puck as much as possible. “I think everyone knows what their top unit or what their top couple guys are capable of doing,” he said.
In his career against the Philadelphia Flyers, McDavid has 19 points (7-12) and a plus-10 rating in 10 games. Draisaitl has 14 points (5-9) in and a plus-7 rating in 10 games vs. Philly.
Before this season, Ovechkin had also been a Flyers-killer, collecting 71 points, including 42 goals, in 63 games against Philadelphia.
In the Flyers’ early-season win in Edmonton, Cam Atkinson had two goals, and Claude Giroux (goal, assist), Sean Couturier (empty-net goal) and Justin Braun (two assists) each had two points. Carter Hart, who grew up in suburban Edmonton, stopped 34 of 37 shots.
The Flyers are halfway through their eight-game homestand, the longest in franchise history. They are 1-2-1 so far, and have games remaining against Edmonton, Minnesota, Chicago, and Vegas.
Draft lottery watch
For those interested in the draft lottery, only five NHL teams have a worse points percentage that the Flyers (.404), who currently have a 7.6% chance to win the lottery and get the No. 1 pick, according to tankathon.com. Arizona, at 16.6%, has the best chance at the moment.