By Dan Majka
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Flyers are fully aware of the challenge in front of them when they visit the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.
“(Sunday) is going to be a war, I think,” said Flyers forward Scott Hartnell. “They got beat 5-0 at home, so they’re going to be ready to have their best effort, and we have to come out with a good effort and get the win and get the two points and, you know, keep moving up in the standings.”
Battling through injuries, Philadelphia recalled defenseman Erik Gustafsson earlier in the day, fueling cause for concern with Braydon Coburn, Kimmo Timonen and Andrej Meszaros all missing practice on Saturday.
Also recalled was left wing Eric Wellwood, who is expected to be in the lineup against the Caps. Wellwood replaces the injured James Van Riemsdyk, who is likely out for the remainder of the regular season after breaking a bone in his left foot during Thursday night’s win over the New York Islanders.
This is the fourth time this season that Wellwood has been recalled from the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms.
“I just do it day-by-day,” said Wellwood. “One day I could be here, the next day I could be gone, so I just enjoy the days that I have and I don’t look at anything past (Sunday).”
In five prior games with the Flyers, Wellwood registered a goal and two assists.
Washington is not without their share of injuries. Starting goaltender Thomas Vokoun is listed as day-to-day with a lower body injury, and did not practice with the team on Saturday.
Michal Neuvirth is expected to make his fifth straight start in the net for the Capitals.
The Caps are also missing a big piece up front. Forward Nicklas Backstrom remains sidelined with a concussion.
Flyers netminder Ilya Bryzgalov is expected to make is eighth straight start in goal. He has four wins in his last sevens starts, and has allowed three goals or less in five of his last eight games.
This is the third of four meetings this season between the Flyers and Capitals.
Washington won the first game 5-2 on October 20 at the Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers skated to a 5-1 win on December 13 in Washington — a game that saw Bryzgalov make 31 saves.