WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals failed to move into a tie for first place in the East Division, losing 4-2 to the Philadelphia Flyers at Capital One Arena on Friday.
T.J. Oshie scored his fourth goal in two games for the Capitals (34-15-5), who have lost three of their past five games. Vitek Vanecek made 25 saves.
Washington trails the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points for first in the MassMutual East Division with one game in hand. The Capitals, Penguins, Boston Bruins and New York Islanders have clinched the four Stanley Cup Playoff berths from the division.
"These are big points for us that we let get by here, so there can't be any excuses," Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. "I just thought we were on our heels too much. They had some good pace in the first period, and we were reacting to them. We were turning pucks over because we weren't on our toes, we weren't sharp."
Rookie Wade Allison scored twice in the second period for his first multigoal game in the NHL for the Flyers (24-23-7), who won for the second time in six games. Brian Elliott made 28 saves.
"There's no doubt that guys have been very positive and very good with the young players brought in here lately, and tonight I thought our whole group skated well," Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault said. "I like the energy we brought to the table and I hope we can do the same thing tomorrow."
The teams will conclude their season series here Saturday. The Capitals are 5-2-0 against the Flyers. They had won five in a row.
Joel Farabee tucked in a loose puck from the right of the net to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead at 1:44 of the first period.
Daniel Sprong tied it 1-1 at 16:19. He scored his sixth goal in six games with a wrist shot from the slot off Anthony Mantha's pass from behind the net.
"I think there were times in the game where we were the better team and there were times where we took our foot off the gas and they had their chances," Sprong said.
Video: PHI@WSH: Sprong buries a wrister while falling down
Allison scored at 4:19 of the second period to make it 2-1. Oskar Lindblom played the puck into the Capitals zone from the neutral zone, and it caromed off the end boards to Allison in the right face-off circle for a one-timer.
"We worked on that a little bit in practice," said Allison, who was playing his 12th NHL game. "Just bypassed their D, and it was a terrific pass. Couldn't ask for much more than that."
Allison batted in the rebound of a Philippe Myers wraparound shot on a delayed penalty to make it 3-1 at 14:45.
"He does what most of the guys that like to score goals do: He went to the front of the net and stayed there," Vigneault said. "That's where you score the goals in today's game, when you're close to the net. You're taking shots and you're jumping on second opportunities. So good for the young man to be doing that."
Allison has three goals and an assist in his past three games.
Video: PHI@WSH: Allison rips home a puck off the end boards
Oshie pulled Washington within 3-2 when he deflected Nick Jensen's shot at 18:51 of the second.
Oshie scored a hat trick in a 4-2 win at the New York Rangers on Wednesday, one day after his father, Tim, died. He has scored six goals in his past six games.
"We didn't capitalize on a couple chances, and we kind of dug ourselves too big a hole to get out of," Oshie said. "Those aren't types of games that we want to have at this point in the year. It should be the exact opposite, I think, of our start. So we'll have to learn from that and talk about it and watch video and change the way we start the game tomorrow night."
Sean Couturier scored into an empty net with 31 seconds left in the third period for the 4-2 final.
NOTES: Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin sat out for the sixth time in seven games because of a lower-body injury. He played one 39-second shift in the first period of a 6-3 win at the New York Rangers on Monday. … Oshie has scored 23 points (15 goals, eight assists) in his past 21 games. … Couturier has scored at least one point in eight of his past nine games (four goals, four assists) and is on a three-game point streak (two goals, one assist). … Elliott got his first assist of the season on Couturier's goal. … Flyers defenseman Cam York had one shot on goal and one blocked shot in 20:59 in his NHL debut. … Philadelphia defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere served the first of a two-game suspension for boarding Pittsburgh defenseman Mark Friedman during a 7-3 loss Tuesday.
Video: Allison nets 2 goals in a 4-2 win over the Capitals