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game recap

Capitals defeat Flyers for first win since break

Evgeny Kuznetsov scores twice for Washington, which had lost two in row

by Adam Kimelman @NHLAdamK / NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Evgeny Kuznetsov scored twice for the Washington Capitals in a 4-1 win against the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie each had a goal and an assist for Washington (40-12-7), which had lost two in a row after a six-day break. Braden Holtby made 33 saves to win his 30th game; he is 15-0-1 in his past 18 starts.

Kuznetsov scored a power-play goal from the right circle at 16:28 of the first period, then made it 3-1 at 17:59 of the second when his shot from the left side went off the stick of Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas and between Michal Neuvirth's pads.

 

WATCH: All Capitals vs. Flyers highlights

 

"If I have a chance to shoot I'll always shoot, but if I see someone open I'll try to pass," Kuznetsov said. "Just happens pretty quick on the ice. I'll always try to play for my partner."

Neuvirth made 25 saves, and Brayden Schenn scored for the Flyers (28-25-7), who scored fewer than two goals for the sixth time in the past nine games. They next play the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series on Saturday.

"It's very frustrating," Philadelphia captain Claude Giroux said. "We did a lot of good things tonight. We had good opportunities, and same story. Need to find a way here."

Video: WSH@PHI: Kuznetsov buries PPG off inside crossbar

The Flyers thought they had a goal 23 seconds into the first period when Jakub Voracek scored from the slot, but after a coach's challenge it was ruled Flyers forward Dale Weise interfered with Holtby. Then at 3:57 of the second period, the horn sounded after defenseman Ivan Provorov's shot from the left side looked like a goal, but a review showed the puck hit the crossbar.

"This was a hard game tonight," Philadelphia coach Dave Hakstol said. "Give [Washington] credit. They played a hard hockey game and they made plays and were able to capitalize. We made a lot of plays as well, they just didn't find the back of the net."

Oshie scored the only goal of the third period, poking in a loose puck in the crease at 14:43 to make it 4-1. Alex Ovechkin set up the play by nearly finishing a give-and-go with Backstrom.

 

Goal of the game

Backstrom said he tried to shoot the puck between Neuvirth's pads but it went off a stick and over the goalie's left shoulder. 

"I was a little lucky," Backstrom said. "I'll take it."

Video: WSH@PHI: Backstrom roofs wrister to open the scoring

 
Save of the game

Holtby got his blocker on Wayne Simmonds' chance in front off the rush at 6:26 of the second period.

Video: WSH@PHI: Holtby turns away Simmonds from in front

 
Highlight of the game

Capitals forward Justin Williams led a breakout down the right side in the Flyers zone and flipped a cross-ice saucer pass onto Kuznetsov's stick to set up his second goal.

Video: WSH@PHI: Kuznetsov scores second goal off defenseman

 

Unsung performance of the game

The Capitals killed two Flyers power plays and allowed a total of three shots on goal.

 

They said it

"We lost two in a row and that's something we don't like, so it was important for our confidence and our whole team that we get a win, and hopefully we can build off this." -- Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom

 

"It has been a lot of games with one or two goals and that is just not winning hockey games, clearly. It is tough to do, generate the shots, but I don't know if we generated enough chances and plays. But at the end of the day, I feel like we played hard tonight. We played a pretty good hockey game. We just scored one goal again. Whether it is 3-1 or 4-1, one goal is not going to make it happen." -- Flyers forward Brayden Schenn

 

Video: WSH@PHI: Schenn deflects Manning's blast into the net

 
Need to know

Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen (lower body) played one shift in the final 33:06. Trotz said Niskanen would be evaluated Thursday but didn't believe the injury was serious. … Capitals forward Lars Eller played his 500th NHL game. … Williams' assist on Kuznetsov's first goal was his 400th in the NHL. … Backstrom's goal was his 183rd, moving him into ninth place in Capitals history. He was tied with Dennis Maruk.

 
What's next

Capitals: Host the Edmonton Oilers on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NHL, SN, TVA Sports, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

Flyers: At the Pittsburgh Penguins at Heinz Field on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVA Sports 2, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Kuznetsov, Backstrom propel Caps past Flyers, 4-1

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