Remote Conflict: Flyers Vs. NFL Playoffs

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At 1PM today, Philly fans will have to choose between high-caliber NFL AFC playoff football and the Flyers showdown with Alex Ovechkin and the Crapitals. The Colts-Chargers game has all the makings of some great January pigskin, but the Flyers have been playing some inspired hockey lately, especially on the road. This is one of those days I'm actually glad there are commercial breaks.

After a long but successful road trip, the Flyers came out sluggish against the Bruins yesterday, but managed to keep it tight in the first period. Antero Niittymaki wasn't tested much for the first half of the game, but the Flyers absolutely disappeared on the offensive end for the game's middle portion, logging only one shot in more than 10 minutes of play. It's not totally their fault though; the refs were calling the game very tightly, and the special teams units were on the ice for long stretches of the game. With tired legs from a stretch of four games in six days and some players out with injuries while others are just returning, John Stevens was clearly trying to use four lines as much as possible. Tough to do when penalties are called every few shifts.

But after letting the Bruins get up 3-1 with 15 minutes left in regulation, the Flyers went off, playing with intensity and clawing their way back to tie it up before the end of regulation. Scott Hartnell kept his hot streak alive with another goal. Then, despite all the momentum, the Bruins snuck one by Niitty in the extra frame, after the goalie failed to clear a puck he came way out of the crease to play. Aaron Ward gathered the puck at the line and quickly shot it past Niitty, who was screened by Jim Vandermeer, who for some unknown reason was on the ice at the time.

Today the Flyers visit Washington and phenom Alex Ovechkin. The Caps locked up the Russian superstar for the foreseeable future this week, and hopefully cemented their place at the bottom of the conference, as his contract will eat 1/5 of their cap space for years (until they trade him to the Rangers). Highlights from yesterday after the jump.

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