Minus Giroux, Flyers try to extend win streak vs. Capitals

The Philadelphia Flyers will aim for their first six-game winning streak in over a year tonight, as they visit the Washington Capitals for a battle at the Verizon Center.

The Flyers have won a season-high five straight games and are leading the East with 39 points, but tonight they'll have to play without the NHL's leading scorer, Claude Giroux.

Giroux suffered a head injury in Saturday's 5-2 home win over Tampa Bay after getting hit with an accidental knee to the back of the head from teammate Wayne Simmonds. The Flyers are not yet calling the injury a concussion, but there is no timetable for his return.

The 23-year-old Giroux is leading the NHL this season with 39 points on 16 goals and 23 assists.

Giroux wasn't the only Flyer to suffer an injury in Saturday's win, as goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov started the game, but left near the 7:00 mark of the third period with an undisclosed injury after allowing two goals on 16 shots. Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside all three shots he faced the rest of the way.

Bryzgalov downplayed the injury after the game and he could get the start tonight.

"It's an old boo-boo, nothing big," said Bryzgalov. "It started to bother me there and to be on the safe side we thought it was best for me to come out."

Simmonds, Jaromir Jagr, Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell each had a goal and an assist to help the Flyers win for the seventh time in eight games. Philly's last six-game winning streak was from Oct. 26-Nov. 6 of last season.

Hartnell has scored goals in five straight games and is second only to Giroux on the Flyers with 14 markers this season.

Philadelphia has a superb 10-3-1 record on the road this season and has won three straight and four of five as the guest.

After losing the first two games under new head coach Dale Hunter, Washington has posted wins in three out of four and is coming off consecutive victories. The Capitals won in Ottawa on Wednesday and then notched a 4-2 win over visiting Toronto in their last game on Friday.

Dennis Wideman was the offensive star in the win over the Maple Leafs, notching two goals and a pair of assists. Wideman was originally credited with a hat trick, but his third goal was later credited to Brooks Laich with Wideman instead getting an assist.

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two assists for the Capitals, while Tomas Vokoun stopped 26 shots in the win.

It was all power-play goals for Washington as the team went 4-for-6 on the man advantage.

"We took the shots when we were there and set things up really well," said Hunter. "We work on the power play a lot in practice and it pays off when you do."

Washington is 10-4-1 as the host this year and is capping a brief two-game homestand tonight.

The Capitals pounded the Flyers, 5-2, when the clubs met in Philadelphia on Oct. 20. Washington has taken two straight and six of the last eight encounters in this series overall and Philly has dropped four of six in D.C.