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POSTGAME 5: Capital Loss

Flyers turn on pressure in final two periods, but fall 3-1 in DC

by Flyers & Bill Meltzer @NHLFlyers

HERE'S WHAT HAPPENED

The Flyers fell into an 0-2 hole through the first 30 minutes, and despite significant pushback, could not recover to take a 3-1 loss to the Capitals on Sunday afternoon in DC.

Tom Wilson scored the lone goal of the first period and the Caps built on that lead as Travis Boyd deflected a shot from Matt Niskanen midway through the second to open up a two-goal lead. Jake Voracek scored on a Flyers power-play to draw within one after 40 minutes, but Jakub Vrana sealed it with a breakaway goal eight minutes into the third.

Brian Elliott stopped 27 of 30 shots to suffer the loss, while Braden Holtby stopped 35 of 36, including 24 of 25 in the final two periods to earn the win.

Stars of the Game:
1 - Braden Holtby (35 of 36)
2 - Travis Boyd (1g)
3 - Jakub Vrana (1g)

TURNING POINT
Jakub Vrana's goal to make it 3-1 with 11:53 left in the third period. Brett Connolly sprung Vrana on a breakaway after he blocked a Phil Myers attempt to get in deep in the zone. Vrana went in all alone on Elliott and slipped it five-hole. The goal killed much of the momentum the Flyers had, especially just coming off a power-play opportunity.

MELTZER'S TAKE

1) Overall, the first period was pretty evenly played but the Flyers went to intermission trailing, 1-0. Brian Elliott had no chance of stopping a Tom Wilson deflection that opened the scoring early in the first period. Later, he had help from Shayne Gostisbehere reeling in a puck before it crossed the goal line.

2) The Flyers handled their first penalty kill flawlessly. On the second, they needed three saves -- two tough ones -- from Elliott to keep the deficit to 1-0. The goalie stepped up and came up with the saves.

3) The Flyers got off a good offensive start in the first six minutes of the second period. Philly continued to knock on the door in the Caps' end, coming within a whisker of scoring a couple times. Instead, a Sean Couturier turnover and a Travis Boyd deflection of a Matt Niskanen shot gave Washington a 2-0 lead at 10:47.

4) Philly persisted after the Boyd goal, building a 20-7 shot edge overall in the second period. Finally it paid off as they scored a power play goal that cut the gap to 2-1 at 17:10 of the third period. James van Riemsdyk drew a Washington penalty on a 2-on-1 rush. Sean Couturier won a draw. From the right side, Voracek blasted the puck home off a Niskanen turnover as the Capitals' defensemen swept the puck away in a scramble in front.Video: PHI@WSH: Voracek hammers home PPG from tough angle

5) The Flyers continued to test Holtby as the third period started. The Caps' netminder made two tough stops on Voracek to keep his team ahead... Holtby, who was magnificent all game, made a late save on Ryan Hartman to prevent Philly from getting any closer.

JUST THE STATS

* Jakub Voracek recorded his 20th goal of the season, marking his third straight 20-goal season and sixth in his last seven years.

* Also with Voracek's goal, the Flyers now have five 20-goal scorers for the second straight year. (Couturier, Giroux, Konecny & van Riemsdyk).

* Ivan Provorov led all players in the game with 25:37 of ice time... Jakub Voracek led the Flyers with six shots on goal... Travis Sanheim led the Flyers with three blocked shots.

* The Flyers were swept in the season series vs. Caps for just the second time in their 44th season (06-07 & 18-19).

* Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux each had their five game point streak snapped.

THEY SAID IT

Video: Coach Gordon on 3-1 loss to Capitals

Video: Giroux, Voracek & Laughton on tough loss in DC

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