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POSTGAME 5: Nipped in DC

by Brian Smith | / Philadelphia Flyers

Matt Niskanen scored a third-period goal to snap a 2-2 tie and give Washington the victory over the Flyers. Philadelphia scored first for the 12th time in their last 14 games when Michael Del Zotto fired home a shot from the point late in the first period. The lead held until the Caps picked up two goals in 1:09 late in the second, one from Alex Ovechkin and one from Dimitry Orlov. Nick Schultz scored 51 seconds into the third period to tie the game again, but Niskanen’s solo effort at 5:24 of the third held up after the Flyers couldn’t solve Braden Holtby the rest of the way. He ended up with 33 saves on 35 shots, while Steve Mason stopped 27 of 30 in the loss.
The Flyers found themselves with a 53-second five-on-three advantage just past the halfway point of the second period and did everything but score on the opportunity. Washington was able to seize some momentum from that point, and Ovechkin’s goal came 2 ½ minutes after the second power play ended.
1ST – Matt Niskanen: Skated halfway down the ice through the Flyers defense with some nifty maneuvering to pick up the unassisted game-winning goal. Niskanen had seven shots on goal and also was credited with three blocked shots.

2ND – Braden Holtby: Held the Flyers at bay with excellent rebound control and a couple of key timely saves among his 33 that he made on the afternoon.

3RD – Michael Del Zotto: Gave the Flyers the early advantage with a drive from the left point that hit a skate on its way past Holtby. Del Zotto had two shots on goal, two more that didn’t reach the net and was credited with three blocks.
Shayne Gostisbehere extended his scoring streak to eight games. Per the Elias Sports Bureau, it’s the longest scoring streak for any rookie defenseman since Kevin Shattenkirk posted a nine-game streak for Colorado from Nov. 17 – Dec. 4, 2010. Gostisbehere had 11 shot attempts in the game… The Flyers had 68 shot attempts compared to 57 for Washington… The Flyers ended a streak of seven consecutive games with a power play goal. Individually, Claude Giroux (4 games) and Jake Voracek (6 games) both saw scoring streaks come to an end… Nick Schultz recorded his first goal of the season. It’s his first since Feb. 5, 2015… Nick Cousins recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Michael Del Zotto’s first period goal. It comes in his 17th NHL game… Scott Laughton led the Flyers with six shots on goal.
"Holtby made a couple unbelievable saves. That’s going to happen; you’re going to face hot goaltenders every now and then. We knew they were going to come out with a big push in the second, same as the last time we were in this building. For whatever reason we were kind of on our heels a little bit again. Back-to- back goals in however long that was, that can’t happen. After a goal against you have to come out and try to get some momentum on your side. They’re one of the best teams in the league, but if we want to get ourselves into a playoff spot we can’t be losing leads like this on back to back nights."

(Michael Del Zotto)

“I’m not going to change anything. That happened last night, it was obviously unfortunate circumstances, but it’s over and done and today’s a new day. That’s not going to change my game at all.”

(Wayne Simmonds)
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