The Philadelphia Flyers fell to the Washington Capitals, 6-3, at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday afternoon. The Flyers erased a pair of one-goal deficits but, each time Philadelphia drew even, the Capitals quickly reclaimed the lead. A three-goal second period for Washington put the Flyers back in dire straights. The Flyers never got any closer again that down by one goal.
Alex Ovechkin (PPG,23rd goal of the season) opened the scoring early in the first period before an Ivan Provorov goal (7th) knotted the score with a single second remaining on the first period clock.
Just 33 seconds into the second period, however, Dmitry Orlov (7th) restored a lead for Washington. James van Riemsdyk's long elusive 14th goal of the season re-tied the score at 2-2. Less than a minute later, the Capitals almost immediately turned their 3rd power play of the game into a 3-2 Caps lead on Ovechkin's second goal of the game (PPG, 24th). Evgeny Kuznetsov (8th) added to the lead with just under five minutes left in the frame.
Rookie power forward Wade Allison (PPG, 1st) narrowed the gap to 4-3 with his first goal in the National Hockey League. A Conor Sheary deflection goal (12th) restored a two-goal margin for the Capitals midway through the third period. Anthony Mantha (14th) added a long-distance empty netter to seal the final outcome.
Subbing for the injured Carter Hart (lower body), Alex Lyon was pressed into starting duty after Hart was a late scratch. Lyon stopped 35 of 40 shots.
Ilya Samsonov earned the win for Washington. He stopped 22 of 25 shots by the Flyers.
The Flyers went 1-for-4 on the power play, and 3-for-5 on the penalty kill.
The Provorov buzzer beater in the first period should have been a springboard for the Flyers, but the Orlov goal (which deflected off Travis Konecny). After James van Riemsdyk very briefly re-tied the game at 2-2. a Nicolas Aube-Kubel penalty that quickly resulted in Ovechkin's second goal of the game, put the Capitals right back in the driver's seat.
1) The Capitals had each of the game's first five shots on goal, and forged ahead early after Justin Braun was called for tripping Ovechkin. Entering the game with a 5-for-9 mark on the power play during the season series with the Flyers, the Caps quickly made it 6-for-10 at the 3:38 mark of the first period. From his "office" in the left circle. Ovechkin fired home a one-timer for his seventh goal (fourth PPG) of the season against the Flyers. The Flyers subsequently were successful in killing off a Samuel Morin unsportsmanlike conduct penalty after Morin challenged Garnet Hathaway to a fight and dropped the gloves, but Hathaway declined.
2) FIrst period shots ended up 11-6 in the Caps' favor; the Flyers also blocked six Washington attempts and had five of their own blocked. Philly won 69 percent of the opening period draws (11 for 16), led by Claude Giroux's 3-for-4.
The Flyers had trouble getting set up on their first power play but finally generated a couple of shots. Wade Allison did set up a screen for a Giroux left circle shot and then looked for a rebound; none was forthcoming from Samsonov. The game was about to go to the first intermission with the Caps up by a goal when Provorov received a pass at the left point from Giroux. With traffic moving in front as he released the shot, Provorov's slapper found the back of the net at 19:59. The secondary assist went to Joel Farabee.
3) The 1-1 tie lasted a mere 33 seconds into the middle stanza. A shot by Orlov from the left side boards deflected off Travis Konecny and re-directed up and over Lyon. The assists went to John Carlson and Ovechkin. The Flyers then took advantage of a Capitals turnover at the offensive blueline, and Aube-Kubel sprung JVR for a blueline-in breakaway. Ending a 15-game goal drought, van Riemsdyk slid a forehander through the five-hole. Aube-Kubel got the lone assist.
4) Unfortunately for the Flyers, the penalty prone Aube-Kubel was called for hooking Ovechkin at 6:11. It took Washington just four seconds to score. Kuznetsov won the draw cleanly to Carlson, who rotated it to Ovechkin in his favorite area on the left side. A one-timer later, the teams were facing off at center ice as the Caps improved to 7-for-12 on the power play for the season against the Flyers and Ovechkin had his second tally of the game and eighth on the season against the Flyers. At 7:20, there was a video review of a play at the Flyers net before a would-be goal. Play was blown dead beforehand and the no-goal ruling stood. At 15:02, the Flyers were collectively caught flat-footed and were puck-watching spectators as precision passing from Carlson to Tom Wilson and from WIlson to Kuznetsov enabled the Russian to walk in alone on Lyon and beat the goal to make it a 4-2 game. A late Flyers' power play generated pressure but no goal. Second period shots were 19-10 Capitals (30-16 Washington through two periods).
5) The Flyers had an early third-period power play on a T,J. Oshie interference penalty with a chance to slice their deficit to one goal.They had some looks but dropped to 0-for-3 on the day and 2-for-16 in the season series. The fourth time was different. Tape-to-tape passes from Giroux to Hayes and Hayes to Allison left the rookie with a slam dunk into a half-empty net at 7:02.
On the shift immediately following the Allison goal, the Flyers gave up a Grade A chance to Orlov,who went in all alone on Lyon. Philly dodged that bullet but they fell behind again by two goals as Lars Eller won a right circle faceoff back to Justin Schultz and Sheary tipped home the Schultz shot after the defenseman moved from right to center point at 9:15.
The Flyers had a golden chance to draw yet again with one goal but Oskar Lindblom from the doorstep on the left side was unable to finish off a shorthanded feed from Scott Laughton. Third period shots were 11-9 Caps (41-25 Caps for the game).