In the first of back-to-back games in DC, the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-2, at Capital One Arena on Friday evening. The Flyers were led offensively by some of the youngest players on the roster.
Joel Farabee (18th goal of the season) bagged an early goal for the Flyers in the first period. Daniel Sprong (13th) tied the game at 1-1 in the latter stages of the opening frame, In the second period, a pair of goals by rookie Wade Allison (3rd and 4th) established a 3-1 lead for Philadelphia. T.J. Oshie (22nd) narrowed the gap to 3-2 late in the middle stanza. Sean Couturier (17th) added an empty net goal in the final minute of the game.
In his 501st career NHL game, Brian Elliott earned the win with 28 saves on 30 shots. Vitek Vanecek took the loss with 25 saves on 28 shots.
The Flyers went 0-for-2 on the power play, and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill.
Cam York, the Flyers' first round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, made his NHL debut in this game. He was paired with veteran Justin Braun. York logged 20:59 of ice time, blocked one shot, had three shot attempts and put one on goal in a generally strong and poised NHL debut.
Allison's two goal outburst in the second period proved to be the difference in the game. Elliott, meanwhile, authored several big saves when play got scrambled in front of him.
1) The Flyers have not played with the lead very often the last two months. At 1:44 of the first period, the Flyers grabbed a 1-0 lead. The Flyers forecheck pressured the defense into putting the puck in a dangerous area. Kevin Hayes hit the post from in close. The puck eventually bounced in off Farabee going to the net. There were subsequent near-moss scoring chances for Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny. At 4:10, Washington's Sprong blatantly kicked the puck into the net. The would-be goal was immediately disallowed.
York carried the puck effectively in his first NHL period. He made a good pinch on the offensive wall to keep a play alive about eight minutes into the first period. On another shift, he carried the puck into the offensive zone and, with no scoring chance materializing, York safely played the puck behind the net. In the defensive zone, he made several good passes. There were a couple plays where the undersized defenseman got outmuscled but the balance was on the positive side of the ledger.
2) At 16:19 of the first period, the Caps knotted the score. Nolan Patrick cleanly won a right circle faceoff in the defensive zone but Ivan Provorov immediately turned the puck over behind the net to Anthony Mantha. A quick centering pass later to Sprong, and the play was finished off to tie the game at 1-1. First period shots were tied at 8-8.
3) The Flyers got off to a quick start in second period. Scott Laughton had a scoring chance in the opening seconds off a Capitals turnover. Philly got the game's first power play at the 35-second mark after Sprong tripped up Ivan Provorov behind the Flyers net.
At 4:19, the Flyers took a 2-1 lead. Allison scored a sniper's goal from the right circle. Lindblom made a cross-corner flip in from the red line and the puck bounced directly to Allison on the right wing. The rookie got rid of the puck quickly with a lot of zip on it and beat Vanecek. The assists went to Lindblom and Justin Braun.
The Flyers got another power play at 5:16. York drew it, pinching in and being hooked behind the Capitals net by Dmitri Orlov. The Capitals killed it off to run their season-series penalty-killing mark against the Flyers to 14-for-16. Washington generated some momentum from it and spent several shifts in the offensive zone. The Flyers got through a Justin Braun interference penalty on Wilson. The Caps had entered the game 7-for-14 on the power play against Philadelphia.
4) The Flyers extended their lead to 3-1 at 14:45. On a delayed penalty against Washington. Phil Myer attempted a wraparound. Allison then batted the airborne rebound into the net for his second goal of the game. The secondary assist went to James van Riemsdyk.
The Flyers got hemmed in and then, at 18:51, paid the price from icing. The Caps controlled the puck and TJ Oshie deflected the puck into the net off a Brenden Dillon shot. Elliott complained that the puck was played by Oshie with a high stick, It did not appear to be. The goal stood without being reviewed.Second period shots were 12-11 Caps (20-19 Caps overall through 40 minutes).
5) The third period started like the first and second: the Flyers came out attacking and had a couple of good scoring chance including one for Laughton. Play then went back and forth with several turnovers but few shots on goal over the first half of the period; there were no whistles for a very long stretch of time as time ticked from 18:12 left in the period all the way down to 9:04. As play continued, Farabee narrowly missed a bid in-close for his second goal of the game. Elliott came up big to rob Nicklas Bäckström. Couturier finally sealed the game with a backhanded empty netter in the final 30.1 seconds. The assists went to JVR and goaltender Elliott.