Like the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals still have some work to do if they want to keep their string of postseason appearances going.
The Capitals have helped themselves by putting together a road win streak but the Flyers will be seeking a fifth win in six matchups Sunday night.
Washington (16-17-1), which has appeared in the last five playoffs, pulled within two points of the eighth-place New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference after a stunning road win Saturday. The Capitals erased a two-goal deficit in the third period, and Mike Green provided the tying score with 40 seconds left in regulation in a 4-3 shootout win over Buffalo.
"It's a credit to our guys for sticking with it," goaltender Braden Holtby said. "Greenie came up with a huge goal, and that's what the leaders on your team do."
The victory was Washington's fourth in a row on the road after a 4-9-1 start away from the nation's capital.
"These are the type of games that we are going to need to steal to make a playoff push," Green said. "A big win for us."
The Capitals, though, could have a challenge in the next stop on their three-game road trip. The Flyers (14-17-3) won in each of the past two visits from Washington and cruised to a 4-1 victory in the most recent of those games Feb. 27.
Philadelphia heads into this matchup with perhaps some confidence after snapping an 0-2-2 skid with Saturday's 3-1 win over Boston.
"You feel good about it, but then you're frustrated too because that's an upper-echelon team in our league and you ask yourselves, 'Why don't you do it more often? Why doesn't it happen more often?'" forward Mike Knuble said. "You make the commitment right from the start and everybody was on board today."
The Flyers, who have also made five straight postseason appearances, are tied for 13th in the East but are only four points behind the Rangers.
"That was a huge two points for us and hopefully from here we can play with confidence like we did tonight and keep on the same tracks and keep going," said forward Matt Read, who scored a key goal in the second period Saturday. "It's been kind of a tough season for us and (this game) is a momentum builder. With the remaining games, if we keep playing like that, who knows? We just have to keep winning and try to make a playoff run."
Philadelphia will try to keep closing that gap by riding its red-hot power play, which has converted five straight chances. Wayne Simmonds and Simon Gagne each scored power-play goals for the Flyers against Washington on Feb. 27.
"We've been keeping it simple, moving the puck when we're supposed to," Read said. "It's hard work and you have to outwork the penalty killers, and that's what we've been doing."
Alex Ovechkin will try to extend his point streak to eight games. The Capitals' star forward has seven goals and four assists during that run, but he has only one goal in his last five games against Philadelphia.
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
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