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Flyers-Capitals: Philly Trying to Contain the Great 8. Good Luck.



Alex Ovechkin, Philadelphia Flyers
Alex Ovechkin has tormented the Flyers in his epic NHL career. The Flyers host the Caps on Wednesday. Photo: AP.

The Philadelphia Flyers (9-12-5) on Wednesday will host the Washington Capitals (11-12-4) and a player who is one day expected to be the greatest goal scorer in NHL history.

Hello, Alex Ovechkin.

The ageless Great 8 has 793 career goals. Only Wayne Gretzky (894) and Gordie Howe (801) have more.

This season, the 37-year-old left winger has a team-high 13 goals in 27 games; he is also a team-worst minus-14.

Earlier this season, he passed Wayne Gretzky for the most road goals in NHL history, and moved past Gordie Howe for the most NHL goals for one team.

In 68 career games vs. the Flyers, Ovechkin has 44 goals and 75 points.

Carter Hart will make his fifth straight start tonight for the Philadelphia Flyers. He welcomes the Great Ovi Challenge.

“He’s obviously a great player, and you’ve got to welcome the challenge that comes with that,” Hart said.

Ovechkin’s powerful shot is what makes him so tough to stop.

“He’s a big man, and sometimes he just tries to shoot it through guys,” Hart said. “He’s dangerous from a lot of areas, and you always have to be aware of where he is, and respect where he is. He’s just a brute force with his shot and he’s got a quick release.”

Both teams are injury-riddled. Both are coming off Monday wins. The Caps won in in Edmonton, 3-2; the Flyers defeated Colorado, 5-3.

The Capitals won despite playing without three of the their top-four defensemen, who  missed the game because of injuries. Washington had 50 shots, including eight by T.J. Oshie, and goalie Charlie Lindgren, subbing for the injured Darcy Kuemper (day to day), stopped 28 of 30 shots.

The Flyers got power-play goals from Travis Konecny and Owen Tippett to key their win over the defending Stanley Cup champion Avs, who are also plagued by multiple injuries.

Prediction: Caps, 4-3.

JVR returns

Left winger James van Riemsdyk (five points in six games) will return to the Flyers’ lineup. Philly won just five of 20 games (5-10-5) when he was sidelined with a broken finger, which required surgery.


Konecny has a goal in his last three games, and four goals over his last five games. He leads the Flyers with 10 goals. … The Flyers are trying to avenge a 3-2 overtime loss in D.C. on Nov. 23. … Max Willman will be a healthy scratch. … The Flyers had two power-play goals for the first time all season in the win over the Avs; they have power-play goals in two straight games, going 3 for 6. Washington’s power play has goals in three straight games and six of the last seven. … In five-on-five play, the Caps have been outscored, 53-46, while the Flyers have been outscored, 50-44. … Travis Sanheim is plus-4 with five points in his last four games. … Ovechkin has earned almost $142 million in his career, per puckpedia.

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