4 things to know for Caps-Flyers: Gudas vs. Niskanen

J.J. Regan

The Capitals (13-2-4) return to the ice after seeing their win streak snapped by the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. On Wednesday, Washington plays just its fourth Metropolitan Division game heading to Philadelphia for a match with the Flyers (10-5-2). You can catch the coverage on NBC Sports Washington Plus with Caps FaceOff Live kicking things off at 6:30 p.m. before Caps Pregame Live begins at 7 p.m. to bring you up to the 7:30 p.m. puck drop. Watch the game on NBCSN then tune back to NBC Sports Washington Plus for Caps Postgame Live and Caps Overtime Live.

Here are four things to know for Wednesday's game.

Hagelin is still out

Todd Reirden said Tuesday that Hagelin would not be traveling with the team to Philadelphia and remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. With him out that means there are zero extra bodies as the team has only 12 healthy forwards, six defensemen and two goalies on the roster.

Here are the lines from morning skate:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Chandler Stephenson - Lars Eller - Richard Panik
Brendan Leipsic - Nic Dowd - Garnet Hathaway


Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Radko Gudas
Jonas Siegenthaler - Nick Jensen

Braden Holtby starts.

Trading places

The Caps and Flyers pulled off the rare inter-division trade over the summer as Matt Niskanen was sent to Philadelphia while Gudas came to Washington. Niskanen had a rough 2018-19 season and, the cap situation being what it was, there was no way the Caps could afford the return they were getting on his $5.75 million cap hit. Instead of trading him for draft picks as many assumed, Brian MacLellan instead flipped him for Gudas and managed to get the Flyers to retain salary in the process. That saved the team over $3 million in cap space and provided a player who seems to have fit in with Washington seamlessly.

Niskanen, meanwhile, has two goals and six assists with his new team and is averaging 21:27 of ice time per game, the second-most on the team.

Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault was very complimentary of the impact Niskanen has had in Philadelphia.


An important divisional game

The talk of the Metro Division thus far has been the Caps and Islanders. Philadelphia, however, is coming on strong and currently sits third in the division with 22 points, eight back of Washington.

While the Caps may be riding a 12-game point streak, Philadelphia now has the longer win streak with four straight wins. The Flyers have won five of their last six as they look to keep pace in the division.

Extra time

Just in case you needed another reason to root against a shootout - other than the fact that they are terrible - the Flyers are tied for the most shootout wins in the NHL with three. In fact, their last two games have been shootout wins, one over Toronto on Saturday and one over Boston on Sunday. Even if it's not a shootout, prepare yourself for extra time tonight. That's apparently just what the Flyers do as five of Philadelphia's last six games have gone at least into overtime.

4 things to know for Caps-Flyers: Gudas vs. Niskanen originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington