Flyers defeat Capitals but lose van Riemsdyk to broken hand
Provorov, Hayes each has goal, assist for Philadelphia, which is 16-4-1 in past 21 gamesby Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Independent Correspondent
WASHINGTON -- Ivan Provorov and Kevin Hayes each had a goal and an assist to help the Philadelphia Flyers win their seventh consecutive game, 5-2 against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Wednesday.
Travis Konecny and Tyler Pitlick scored, and Brian Elliott made 25 saves for the Flyers (39-20-7), who moved within one point of the Capitals for the Metropolitan Division lead. Philadelphia is 16-4-1 in its past 21 games.
"Our boys came to play," Flyers coach Alain Vigneault said. "It showed a lot about the will and the character of this group here. Obviously we haven't accomplished anything yet, but tonight was a big game for both teams."
[WATCH: All Flyers vs. Capitals highlights]
Philadelphia finished the regular season 3-0-1 versus Washington.
Lars Eller and Garnet Hathaway scored, and Braden Holtby made 24 saves for Washington (40-20-6), which is 6-9-1 over its past 16 games.
"We can't keep going like that," Hathaway said. "If we keep doing that, there is not going to be a future for us. We've got to figure some stuff out. That being said, we are in a good spot now, but we have to get better and we have to play better hockey."
Video: PHI@WSH: Provorov blasts puck home to extend lead
Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk left in the first period with a broken right hand after being hit by a shot from Capitals defenseman Jonas Siegenthaler. Vigneault said they would know more Thursday.
"I think if you lose a guy, especially of his caliber, I think guys just kind of [think] next man up," Elliott said. "Who's going to take that responsibility? Who's going to take up that ice time? I think we have a lot of guys who can pull it off and a lot of guys playing good hockey right now."
The Capitals took a 1-0 lead at 14:09 of the first period when Richard Panik got to a loose puck in the Flyers zone and sent a behind-the-back pass to the charging Eller, who scored his 16th goal of the season.
Konecny tied it 1-1 at 7:06 of the second period when he knocked in Provorov's rebound on a power play.
Video: PHI@WSH: Konecny taps home rebound on power play
Hayes made it 2-1 at 14:48, six seconds after a power play ended. Nicolas Aube-Kubel backhanded the puck toward the net and Derek Grant used his skate to redirect the puck across the slot to Hayes.
"Liked our start, liked some physicality at the beginning of the game and we lost some momentum from some special teams situations," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "It's an important part of the game, whether that's power play or penalty kill or important shifts. They were better than us in those areas tonight."
Washington was 0-for-5 on the power play.
Pitlick increased the lead to 3-1 when he converted a pass from Michael Raffl at 17:05.
"It was just one of those games where we got away from what's given us success and against a team like that you can't do that," Holtby said.
Hathaway worked a give-and-go with Tom Wilson, converting the return feed to pull Washington within 3-2 at 18:32.
Video: PHI@WSH: Hathaway goes top shelf to trim deficit
The Flyers pushed the lead to 4-2 when Provorov scored on a wrist shot from the left circle at 6:36 of the third period.
Hayes sent a pass toward Scott Laughton, which deflected in off Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov at 14:15. Laughton was credited with the goal.
"It was two good teams going up against one another, and they didn't get the bounces that we got," Hayes said. "I think I looked up at one point [and] they had 11 shots close to the end of the second, and that's an offensive team over there. When you do that, it gives you the best chance to win."
Video: Konecny's production in Flyers' seven-game win streak
They said it
"We had a plan. We stuck to it. … The first period there was absolutely no room both ways. One time there was room and they were able to score on it but in the second period we played quicker, we played faster. It was a hard-fought game. You had to get involved physically and you had to have that willingness to take a hit to make a play, and I thought we did." -- Flyers coach Alain Vigneault
"Making some bad decisions in the offensive zone that led to some rushes where they scored. They get a couple of lucky bounces that turn into goals. Two off a skate, I think, to an open back door. They're putting pucks on net. I think, overall, we're just not playing our best. We're playing pretty far from our best and it's been like that for a couple weeks." -- Capitals forward Lars Eller
Need to know
The seven-game winning streak is Philadelphia's longest since an eight-game streak Jan. 14-Feb. 4, 2019. … Konecny has seven points (three goals, four assists) in a four-game point streak. … Hayes has nine points (six goals, three assists) in the past seven games. … The Capitals power play is 3-for-25 over the past nine games. … Capitals forward T.J. Oshie played his 800th NHL game.
Flyers: Host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSP, NHL.TV)
Capitals: At the New York Rangers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; MSG, NBCSWA, NHL.TV)