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POSTGAME 5: For the Fourth Time

Flyers play fourth straight past regulation, gain valuable point in 2-1 shootout loss to Caps

by Bill Meltzer @BillMeltzer

After 65 thrilling minutes of 1-1 hockey, the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals went to a shootout at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night. The Caps scored twice, while the Flyers scored once and Washington claimed the bonus point for the 2-1 victory.

Carter Hart made 32 saves on 33 shots in regulation and two more in OT; a slew of which were very tough stops. Braden Holtby was also outstanding in net for Washington (27 saves on 28 shots in regulation, 3 more in OT), but Hart's heroics were the big story.

Claude Giroux knotted the game in the third period, after a Brendan Leipsic goal stood as the game's only tally through two periods.

Three Stars:
1st: Carter Hart (35 of 36)
2nd: Evgeny Kuznetsov (shootout, game-winner)
3rd: Braden Holtby (30 of 31)

Jakub Voracek's slick entry on the rush and tape-to-tape feed across to Giroux set up a magnificent tying goal on the power play at 6:38 of the second period.Video: WSH@PHI: Giroux finishes off the feed from Voracek

* The Flyers got off to a sluggish start in the first period. The Caps rapidly compiled five shots in less than two minutes. Washington compiled seven of the game's first eighth shots. Washington's fourth line outworked the Flyers line and Leipsic was alone on the doorstep to jam a John Carlson rebound past Hart for a 1-0 lead. 

* Things got only slightly better for the Flyers as the period progressed. Andy Andreoff hustled up a wraparound attempt. Shayne Gostisbehere made a nice lateral move to create the Flyers' first power play. Beyond that, there wasn't much doing on the Philly side: they struggled to break out and struggled to sustain offensive zone possession. The Caps took 1:03 of carryover PP time into the 2nd pd, leading 1-0. Shots were 16-5, attempts were 27 (16-5-6) to 14 (5-6-3) in Washington's favor. Pretty much the Carter Hart show in the opening 20 to keep his team in the game.Clutch saves one-on-one against Richard Panik and a glove save on Leipsic from the slot stood out.

* Vigneault, looking for a spark, juggled every forward line except the Couturier line. Tyler Pitlick moved to a line with Giroux and JVR, Andreoff was with Hayes and Voracek. Farabee played with Raffl and Twarynski. 

* As the second period progressed, the Flyers started to generate much more traffic and pucks in close to Holtby. An outstanding Flyers third PK was followed very shortly thereafter by a Philly power play. After it expired, Konecny beat Holtby with a shot but the puck hit the post. Hart made a clutch save on Lars Eller in the waning seconds of the period. Second period shots were 12-6 Flyers (22-17 Caps through 40 minutes.

* Vigneault juggled lines again to start the third period. Raffl was with Giroux and Voracek. Pitlick was with Hayes and Farabee. Andreoff was moved from left wing to center JVR and Twarynski. The Caps came out with an early forechecking push. The Flyers withstood it, thanks to two more clutch saves by Hart, and then pushed back, culminating in Giroux's game-tying power play goal off a great entry and pass by Voracek. Late in regulation, the Flyers were hanging by a thread but Hart nursed the game to OT.

* Despite the loss, the Flyers gained another point in the standings pushing their point streak to seven straight games (5-0-2) and pushing their point streak on home ice to six straight (5-0-1).

* The Flyers have also had four straight games decided past regulation play, going 3-1, and have had six of their last seven games decided past regulation, including five of the seven in a shootout.

* The win also moves the Flyers into third place in the Metropolitan Division with a 10-5-3 record for 23 points and a tie for 4th in the Eastern Conference.

* Sixteen of the Flyers' 18 skaters registered at least one shot on goal... Ivan Provorov led the team with four shots on goal, as well as overall ice time (25:06).

* Kevin Hayes logged 22:19 of ice time, the most he has had this season.

* The Flyers travel to Ottawa for their first meeting with the Senators on Friday night. Puck drop is 7:30 on NBCSP+ or listen live on 93.3 WMMR.

Video: Hear from Hayes, Voracek and Hart following SO lossVideo: Hear from Flyers coach following SO loss to WSH

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