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game recap

Flyers put on show in home opener against Capitals

Top line of Giroux, Couturier, Voracek combines for 10 points

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

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers' top line of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek combined for 10 points in an 8-2 win against the Washington Capitals at Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

Giroux had two goals and two assists, Couturier had two goals and an assist and Voracek had three assists.

The three are considered outstanding passers, but Saturday saw them work to shoot the puck more. They combined for nine shots on goal after averaging seven in their first four games.

 

[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Flyers highlights]

 

"We know that we like to pass the puck around and make nice plays," Couturier said. "But at the end of the day, we have to shoot the puck when we have the chance and tonight that's what we did."

It's a line that still is finding its way together. They have been teammates since 2011-12, but this is the first time they've played together consistently at 5-on-5.

Video: WSH@PHI: Couturier tallies second-chance goal

"Those guys are continuing to build chemistry," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "That's real important for our hockey team."

Scott Laughton had his first two-goal NHL game, Wayne Simmonds had a goal and an assist, and Valterri Filppula scored. Brian Elliott had 21 saves for the Flyers (3-2-0) in their home opener.

The eight goals were the most the Flyers have scored since a 9-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Nov. 5, 2011.

Jakub Vrana and Nicklas Backstrom scored for the Capitals (3-2-1), who were playing the second game of a back-to-back. Philipp Grubauer had 29 saves.

"I think we definitely made too many mistakes," Capitals defenseman John Carlson said. "… I think it started in the neutral zone for us. I think they did a good job against us and we kind of shot ourselves in the foot too many times."

The Flyers led 5-2 after two periods, and got goals from Laughton, Couturier and Giroux in the third.

Video: WSH@PHI: Giroux tips home Couturier's shot

Couturier's goal initially did not count, but was ruled to have crossed the goal line after video review.

Philadelphia had three of the four goals scored in the second period.

Simmonds' power-play goal at 3:15 put the Flyers ahead 3-1, and Giroux tipped a Couturier shot past Grubauer at 10:32.

Backstrom's goal got the Capitals within 4-2 at 10:45, but Filppula scored from in front at 17:05 to put the Flyers ahead 5-2.

Laughton gave the Flyers a 2-1 lead with a shorthanded goal with 1:02 left in the first period. Grubauer raced out to play the puck in the circle to his right but couldn't control it, and Laughton stickhandled around him and tucked it into an empty net.

Couturier scored on a rebound at 7:18 of the first period to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. The Capitals tied it on Vrana's goal at 9:25 of the first.

Video: WSH@PHI: Couturier shows off hands on tough goal

 

Goal of the game

Hakstol said Laughton's goal was the biggest moment of the game.

"Late in the period, for us to be able to score a shorthanded goal and turn that momentum back in our favor, that was the key point in the hockey game," he said. "He made a good read and made a heck of a play to get in and finish it."

Video: WSH@PHI: Laughton capitalizes on Grubauer's misplay

 

Save of the game

With the game tied 1-1 at 11:55 of the first period and the Flyers killing a penalty, Elliott made a big glove save on a hard shot by Christian Djoos from the point with traffic in front.

Video: WSH@PHI: Elliott flashes the leather on Djoos' try

 

Highlight of the game

Voracek made a great inside/outside move to get around Capitals defenseman Madison Bowey in the slot and carry the puck to the net. It rolled off his stick to Simmonds for his power-play goal.

Video: WSH@PHI: Simmonds finishes Voracek's feed for PPG

 

They said it

"It doesn't matter how you lose, but certainly the way we lost doesn't make you feel good. I'm sure we'll get some time to think about it a little bit and talk about it. Learn from it and get better." -- Capitals defenseman John Carlson 

"Tonight, the fans, I haven't heard that crowd that loud like that for a while. Great to hear." -- Flyers captain Claude Giroux

 

Video: WSH@PHI: Giroux snaps home rebound for his second

 

Need to know

Giroux's goal was his 182nd in the NHL and moved him past Jeff Carter for 15th on the Flyers' all-time list. … The Flyers have five wins and one tie in six home openers against the Capitals. … Bowey was called up from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Saturday and played his first game. He replaced defenseman Matt Niskanen, who was placed on long-term injured reserve Saturday because of an upper-body injury sustained Friday. … Kuznetsov's assist on Vrana's goal was his NHL-best 11th of the season. … Backstrom's goal extended his point streak to five games. He has 11 points (three goals, eight assists during the streak.

 

What's next

Capitals: Host the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, TSN4, NHL.TV)

Flyers: Host the Florida Panthers on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP, FS-F, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Giroux leads Flyers to rout of Caps in 8-2 win

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