Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) skates up ice against the Vancouver Canucks in the first period at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on December 2, 2014. UPI/Mark Goldman | License Photo
Alex Ovechkin and the streaking Washington Capitals take aim at a fourth victory in a row on Thursday night as they visit the Philadelphia Flyers.
Ovechkin tallied for a fourth straight game on Wednesday night, with his empty-net goal capping off a 6-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs. Ovechkin had a goal in five of six and six of his past eight games and reached the 20- goal mark for the 10th time in as many NHL seasons.
Eric Fehr and Marcus Johansson had a pair of goals each, while Brooks Laich also scored as the Capitals matched their longest winning streak of the season and picked up a point for the 14th time in their past 15 games (11-1-3).
Washington is third in the Metropolitan Division, four points back of the second-place New York Islanders.
"We were a little sloppy in the beginning but then we got some things going," said Johansson. "It was tough, that's a good team over there, but we were able to pull it out."
John Carlson and Troy Brouwer each chipped in a pair of assists to back a 31- save effort by Braden Holtby, who was making his career-high 16th straight start.
Holtby also matched Wayne Stephenson for the most consecutive games played by a goaltender in franchise history with 22. It is unknown if he will break that mark tonight or if Justin Peters will get his first start since Nov. 15.
Peters, who last appeared in relief on Nov. 29, is 1-2-0 with a 3.66 goals against average and .889 save percentage in four games (3 starts) versus the Flyers, while Holtby is 3-2-3 with a 3.38 GAA and .890 save percentage in nine meetings.
The Flyers also face some uncertainty in net tonight after Steve Mason was unable to practice on Wednesday due to soreness. He was coming off a 41-save effort in Tuesday's 2-1 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators as was set to have an MRI on Wednesday.
Mason is expected to participate in morning skate on Thursday and is 6-3-2 lifetime against the Capitals with a 2.85 GAA and .906 save percentage.
Backup Ray Emery is 4-8-0 with a 3.74 GAA and .878 save percentage in his career when facing the Caps.
Mason halted four of the Senators' five shootout chances on Tuesday and Wayne Simmonds followed up his game-tying third-period goal with the winner in the tiebreaker, snapping the Flyers' five-game skid.
Philadelphia came in 0-5 in the shootout this season and won the tiebreaker for the first time since Dec. 30, 2013.
The Flyers were opening a four-game homestand after losing the final five contests on an eight-game road trip.
"Feels good. It's been a while since we had this feeling after a game," said Mason. "Nice to come home, feel refreshed and get this big win at home."
The Flyers have won three straight, five of seven and 10 of their past 15 versus the Capitals, including five of the previous six played at home.