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Capitals rally, beat Flyers in shootout

by Adam Vingan

WASHINGTON -- For the second time in three games, the Washington Capitals found themselves staring down a three-goal deficit, only to ultimately prevail in a shootout.

After coming back from 3-0 to defeat the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday, Washington scored three goals in the final 8:40 of regulation to erase the Philadelphia Flyers' 4-1 lead en route to a 5-4 win at Verizon Center on Sunday.

Marcus Johansson, Mike Green, Dmitry Orlov and Alex Ovechkin scored for Washington, which has won six of eight.

"It's great we come back again," Ovechkin said. "I think it was [50 minutes] and score was [4-1] it's almost end of the game, but [Green's] goal gave us the belief and [Orlov] score and it makes you feel like, 'Why not?' Maybe it's that kind of game where we just have to make one little push and we'll tie it."

Claude Giroux, Mark Streit, Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek scored and Michael Raffl had three assists for the Flyers. Philadelphia has lost five of seven.

"We're just trying to win games," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "We need two points. We didn't get it tonight. We had that game and we let it slip away."

In the first period, the Capitals struck first at 11:17 on their second power play of the game. Nicklas Backstrom sent a cross-ice pass from near the right half-wall to Ovechkin at the left circle. Ovechkin settled the puck and flung it through Braydon Coburn's legs to Johansson, who batted the back-door feed past Flyers goaltender Steve Mason (29 saves) for his fourth goal of the season.

With time running out in the period, Giroux tied the game at 1-1 when he snuck into the slot undetected and converted a backhanded pass from Raffl.

Early in the second period, Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer (24 saves) kept the game tied by making two sensational saves in tight while the Flyers were on the power play. Grubauer first got just enough of Voracek's shot with his glove, then stretched out to thwart Couturier shortly after.

But Grubauer could not stop Streit's wrist shot at 7:37 of the second, when Philadelphia took a 2-1 lead. Streit intercepted Karl Alzner's breakout pass intended for Backstrom in the neutral zone. The puck came to Raffl, who led Streit in stride for a wrist shot that beat Grubauer under his left arm.

"For the most part of the game, we played pretty well," Streit said. "We were up 4-1 with maybe 10 minutes to go. You shouldn't lose a game like that. It doesn't matter how many goals you score and how many points you have in this League. It's a very bad loss."

Couturier made it 3-1 a little more than two minutes into the third period, beating Green in the corner and banking a sharp-angle shot along the goal line off Grubauer's stick and into the net. Seventy-four seconds later, Voracek extended Philadelphia's lead to 4-1 by deflecting Raffl's one-timer.

Green atoned for his earlier mistake with his second goal of the season at 11:20, and Orlov's first, a booming shot from the left point off a faceoff win, cut Philadelphia's lead to 4-3 with 3:31 remaining.

"I think we had too much perimeter stuff, and once we started just peppering [Mason] with shots, one was bound to go in," Green said. "You look at the goals that went in, he either didn't see it or it was just a floater which could have been an easy save from that far out."

As he did on Tuesday, Ovechkin tied the game with Gruabuer pulled in favor of an extra attacker within the final minute of regulation. This time, he wristed a shot from the high slot past Mason for his League-leading 27th goal of the season.

"I didn't get all of it," Ovechkin said. "It was kind of, [Green] was in front of me so I tried to kind of reach out. As soon as I get it, I just shoot it and ice condition, it's not that perfect, but who cares right now."

The Capitals went to a shootout for the third straight game and NHL-high 11th time. Eric Fehr and Backstrom scored for Washington; Giroux was the lone Flyer to solve Grubauer.

It was Washington's League-leading and franchise record-setting eighth of the season.

"It was unbelievable," Grubauer said. "Thanks to the guys … it was a good win, a good comeback. We have a great offense. We can score, so every time you need a goal, it seems like we can put the puck in the net, which is good for us."

The teams will play again on Tuesday at Wells Fargo Center.

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