On the heels of another prolific start from Alexander Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals are riding a four-game winning streak.
Even a big game from the two-time reigning league MVP, however, wasn't enough the last time they faced the Philadelphia Flyers.
The Flyers and captain Mike Richards outlasted the Capitals for an entertaining overtime win earlier this month, but coach John Stevens will hope for a more tight-checking affair between the clubs at the Verizon Center on Tuesday night.
Richards notched his second career hat trick in Philadelphia's 6-5 win over the Capitals on Oct. 6 as the Flyers gained another edge in the budding rivalry between the emerging young teams.
After beating Washington in seven games in the first round of the 2008 playoffs, the Flyers went 2-1-1 and outscored the Capitals 13-6 in the 2008-09 regular season.
Still, Philadelphia will hope to keep things more in control after the teams combined for seven goals in a wild second period in their first meeting this season. Ovechkin had two goals and an assist in the game and the Flyers needed Scott Hartnell's equalizer with 4:15 left in regulation and Danny Briere's overtime goal to earn the victory.
"We don't want to get involved in a track meet with the Pittsburghs and the Washingtons of the world," Stevens said after that game. "I think we're built just a little bit differently, but we do have an exciting offensive team and I think you saw that."
The Flyers (5-3-1) had trouble containing San Jose's potent attack Sunday night, losing 4-1 at home with backup goalie Brian Boucher making his first appearance of the season.
Ray Emery could return to the crease Tuesday after a strong start with his new club. After playing in Russia last season, Emery signed with the Flyers and is 5-2-1 with a 2.57 goals-against average in his first eight starts.
But he has lost his last three appearances at Washington, all as a member of the Ottawa Senators, with a 4.20 GAA in that stretch.
In his last two home games, Ovechkin netted four goals to help start the Capitals' winning streak, but Washington (6-2-2) had to do without much offensive help from its star on its two-game road trip.
Ovechkin, who is tied for second in the league with 17 points, was limited to one assist in wins over Atlanta and the New York Islanders, and the Capitals' vaunted power play was 0 for 11 on the trip. Washington ranked second in the NHL on the power play last season (25.2 percent).
High-scoring forward Alexander Semin, who has 10 points (four on the power play) in eight games, missed the last two games for undisclosed reasons, but he returned to practice and could help the unit Tuesday.
"It's another threat," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I think the whole power play thing will work itself out in the end. Those guys are too skilled to keep screwing up the way they're doing lately."
The Capitals have still found a way to extend their winning streak, using 28 saves from Jose Theodore and Brooks Laich's overtime goal in the 3-2 victory over the Islanders.
Theodore returned to action after missing two games with back spasms, and he could start again after backup Semyon Varlamov was pulled in the loss to the Flyers. Theodore is 5-2-0 with a 1.69 GAA in his last seven starts versus Philadelphia.