Through five games this season, the Washington Capitals have one played one road game, which happened to take place in a hostile environment in Pittsburgh. Thursday, the Caps will play their second road game of the season in yet another hostile environment when they face off against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center in a matchup between two of the Eastern Conference's best teams.
Washington enters Thursday's game at 5-0-0, the first in franchise history that it has started the season with five consecutive wins. Meanwhile, Philadelphia is one of two other teams in the East (Toronto Maple Leafs) that have yet to lose in regulation this season at 4-0-1. The Flyers are led by Claude Giroux, who has flourished in his new role as first line center, with seven points. His linemates, James van Riemsdyk and former Cap Jaromir Jagr, both have four points.
The Caps will likely start Tomas Vokoun for the fifth consecutive game, while the Flyers should start Ilya Bryzgalov. Both goalies have had great starts to the season. Bryzgalov is 3-0-1 with a 1.99 GAA and .927 SV%, quite similar to Vokoun's 4-0-0 record with a 1.94 GAA and .935 SV%.
Alex Ovechkin missed practice Wednesday with "bumps and bruises," according to head coach Bruce Boudreau, but it did not sound like anything serious and Ovechkin should be in the lineup Thursday.