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Instant analysis: Flyers vs. Capitals, Game 3

Ovechkin, Washington power play too much for Mason, Philadelphia

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1 in Game 3 of their Eastern Conference First Round series on Monday at Wells Fargo Center. The Capitals lead the best-of-7 series 3-0.

After Michael Raffl scored on a rebound 57 seconds into the game to give the Flyers their first lead of the series, Marcus Johansson answered with a power-play deflection for the Capitals at 4:43. Alex Ovechkin's goal 8:50 into the second period snapped a 1-1 tie and put the Capitals ahead for good.

The Capitals pulled away with power-play goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson, Ovechkin and Jay Beagle in the third period and Braden Holtby made 30 saves.

What we learned: The Capitals' superiority in special teams and goaltending continues to be the difference. Their power play set a team playoff record with five goals Monday and has eight in the series. The Flyers went 0-for-5 on the power play and are 0-for-13 with the man-advantage in the series.

Holtby continued to be sharp in goal while Steve Mason struggled again for the Flyers. Mason appeared to have trouble picking up Ovechkin's wrist shot from above the right circle, which sailed in past his glove. On Kuznetsov's goal 1:58 into the third period, Mason was victimized by an unfortunate bounce off the glass on a puck Justin Williams shot into the right corner, but had a chance to glove it and dropped the puck in front.

Michal Neuvirth might get a chance in net for the Flyers in Game 4 on Wednesday.

What this means for Capitals: They have won the first three games of a best-of-7 series for the first time in their history. They will go for their first four-game sweep Wednesday.

What this means for Flyers: The Flyers are on the brink of elimination and will need to repeat history to advance. Four teams in NHL history have come back from a 3-0 deficit to win a best-of-7 series. The 2014 Los Angeles Kings were the last do it in the second round against the San Jose Sharks. The Flyers did it in the second round of the 2010 playoffs against the Boston Bruins.

Key moment: Feeding off the emotion of the pre-game ceremony to honor their late owner and founder Ed Snider, the Flyers jumped ahead 57 seconds into the game on a rebound goal from Raffl. Their first lead of the series lasted 3:46, though, as the Capitals tied it with a power-play goal from Johansson at 4:43. That took some of the energy out of the building and allowed the Capitals to settle into the game.

Unsung player of the game: Capitals center Mike Richards had a team-high six hits and was a key part of the penalty kill being perfect again.

What's next: Game 4 is Wednesday at Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-PH, CSN-DC). Capitals will go for the sweep.

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