Flyers visit Caps in clash between struggling teams

The Philadelphia Flyers will try to create some momentum ahead of an upcoming homestand as they conclude a four-game road trip on Friday against the equally-struggling Washington Capitals.

The Flyers began the season with three straight losses before picking up a home win over the New York Rangers on Jan. 24. They then kicked off their swing with a 7-1 win at Florida, but have followed up with back-to-back setbacks to Tampa Bay and the Rangers by a 7-2 margin.

It was a tight game in New York on Tuesday, but the Flyers failed to take advantage of their power-play chances and lost a 2-1 decision to the Blueshirts.

Ilya Bryzgalov made 26 saves and Kimmo Timonen scored a power-play goal near the midway point of the third period, but Philadelphia went 1-for-6 overall on the man advantage.

"There was opportunities," Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette remarked, "we didn't cash in."

That was certainly true of forward Danny Briere, who was credited with 10 shots on goal to match a career high. He skated on a line with captain Claude Giroux and winger Wayne Simmonds on Thursday as Laviolette looks to find some offense for a club that has scored more than two goals just once in seven games.

The Flyers, who begin a four-game homestand on Saturday, have won three straight and five of their past seven meetings with the Capitals. They have also taken the last three encounters in Washington D.C., where the Caps return after dropping two games in Canada.

After picking up their first victory of the season at home on Jan. 27, the Capitals dropped a pair of 3-2 decisions in Ottawa and Toronto, the latter coming on Thursday night.

Washington carried a 2-1 lead into the third period thanks to goals from Alex Ovechkin and Joel Ward, but the Maple Leafs scored a pair of goals just over two minutes apart.

"We're just giving up stuff that we shouldn't be giving up," Capitals forward Joey Crabb said. "When you have leads going into the third period, we should be closing those out."

Michal Neuvirth made 37 saves in defeat, one that saw the Caps kill off seven of Toronto's eight power plays. They fell to 1-5-1 on the season and begin a three-game homestand with this game.