The Capitals used five power play goals to pull away to a 6-1 win in Game 3 at the Wells Fargo Center. Philadelphia struck first just 57 seconds into the game on a goal by Michael Raffl, but it ended up being the only puck to get past Braden Holtby. Marcus Johannson picked up the first power play marker 4:43 into the period, and Washington took the lead for good on an even-strength goal by Alex Ovechkin 8:50 into the second. PPGs followed from Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson, Ovechkin and Jay Beagle. Holtby made 31 saves, while Steve Mason stopped 21.
The Flyers were down just 2-1 and were seconds away from killing off a Washington power play in the early minutes of the third period when Justin Williams wrapped a puck around the boards into the Flyers zone. The puck hit a stanchion in the glass and bounced over the top of the net, off Steve Mason, and right to the stick of Evgeny Kuznetsov, who made it a 3-1 lead.
1. John Carlson – recorded his third goal of the series and added two assists for a three-point game. Carlson played 24:14 and recorded 11 total shot attempts – four on goal, six that were blocked and one that missed.
2. Alexander Ovechkin – also recorded a three-point game with two goals and an assist. He had 18 shot attempts – five on goal, nine that were blocked and four that missed.
3. Nicklas Backstrom
– Recorded a two-assist night with four shot attempts and two takeaways.
Per the Elias Sports Bureau, the five PPG against ties a franchise record done twice before in two other Game 3 situations – the 1980 Stanley Cup Final at NYI and the 1976 Semifinal at TOR… the Flyers are down 3-0 in a seven-game series for the 10th time in their history. They have won once before in that situation, coming back in the 2010 Eastern Conference Semifinals vs. Boston… Brandon Manning co-led the Flyers with four shots on goal, along with Sam Gagner… the Flyers outhit Washington 45-26.
“To have such a touching ceremony and we came out flying, scored a goal right away, and then somehow we lose that momentum, that can’t happen especially against a team like that. It’s tough, that was the problem and we need to keep going. We got caught a few times even 5 on 5 on odd man rushes. They are a dangerous team offensively and if you give them too many chances eventually they are going to punish you for it and you have to play especially smart defensively and stay out of the box.”
“We’re not going away. We’re going to pick up and go back to work tomorrow like we always do, like we have all year long, and get ready to go out and win a game two nights from now.”