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POSTGAME 5: A Capital W

by Brian Smith | / Philadelphia Flyers

Brayden Schenn tipped home the game-tying goal in the third period and the Flyers went on to defeat the Capitals 2-1 in a shootout. The game was scoreless until Alex Ovechkin gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead with a goal 1:28 into the third period that came at the moment a Flyers penalty expired. But with 5:28 to play and the Flyers on a man advantage, Schenn redirected a Claude Giroux slapshot from the left side boards to knot the score. The Flyers killed off a penalty in overtime and then took things to the shootout, where Nick Cousins and Sam Gagner scored opposite two saves from Steve Mason. Mason took the win with 29 saves, while Braden Holtby stopped 33. Stars of the Game: 1 – Braden Holtby; 2 – Sam Gagner; 3 – Steve Mason.

The Flyers needed a creative way to get past Braden Holtby, and they found one while on that third-period power play. Claude Giroux and the first power play unit were on the tail end of what had been more than a 1 ½ minute shift when he had the puck on the left side half-wall. He appeared to be set on continuing the cycle around the point, but seemed to see something he liked when he saw Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn in front of the net with relatively little defensive pressure. He wound up about as far as he could before blasting a slapshot that Schenn deflected about halfway down the shaft of his stick, sending it over Holtby’s shoulder into the upper right corner. 


1. Brayden Holtby – Came up huge several times for the Capitals in a goaltending battle. 
2. Sam Gagner – His shootout goal, while not the official winner, clinched the extra point for the Flyers.
3: Steve Mason – He was equal to Holtby at the other end and came up especially huge in the shootout. The one goal Mason allowed was a patented Ovechkin PPG that was moving so fast that it couldn’t even be seen on replay. 

The Flyers won their third shootout of the season and their first since Jan. 17 at Detroit… The Flyers were 41-for-69 (59 pct) on faceoffs.  Giroux was 17-for-26 (65 pct)… Giroux had an assist and although he did not register a shot on goal, he had five shot attempts blocked by the Capitals… In addition to his goal, Schenn led the Flyers with eight hits and also recorded two takeaways… Jake Voracek led the Flyers with five shots on goal and 10 total attempts… Pierre-Edouard Bellemare led the Flyers with six blocked shots and also went 7-for-10 (70 pct) on faceoffs… The Flyers now have a record of 38-25-13 for 89 points, putting them two points ahead of Detroit for the second wild card position in the Eastern Conference with one game in hand. 

“You create your own bounces and we did that tonight. Not just in the shootout our guys did a good job, Mason did a good job in the shootout but our group worked real hard for 65 minutes before that shootout.”
(Dave Hakstol)

“We haven’t thought about [a playoff series]. Those were two big points for us that we needed to get. Playoffs it’s getting close, but we’re not there yet, so we have to be focused on the regular season and it’s been a tight game I think we played it well and it’s the best offensive team in the league and we played good.”
(Jake Voracek)

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