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game recap

Hayes shorthanded goal helps Flyers get past Capitals

Stop four-game slide; Washington 0-for-5 on power play

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

Hayes' shorthanded goal

WSH@PHI: Hayes nets backhander for breakaway SHG

Kevin Hayes skates in on the break and slips a a backhander past Braden Holtby for a shorthanded goal and to give the Flyers a 3-2 lead

  • 00:55 •

PHILADELPHIA -- Kevin Hayes broke a tie with a shorthanded breakaway goal late in the second period, and the Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

Travis Konecny and Robert Hagg scored for Philadelphia (23-15-6), which was 0-3-1 in its previous four games. Carter Hart made 26 saves, and the Flyers went 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.

Philadelphia played at home for the first time since ending a six-game road trip 1-4-1 with a 5-4 overtime loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.

"We love coming home to our fans, we've been great all year at home," Hayes said of the Flyers, who are 13-2-4 at Wells Fargo Center. "I think our penalty kill was great tonight, gave us the extra edge."

 

[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Flyers highlights]

 

Nicklas Backstrom and Jakub Vrana scored for Washington (30-10-5), which had its three-game winning streak end. Braden Holtby made 24 saves.

The Capitals were playing one night after a 6-1 win against the Ottawa Senators, but Vrana said fatigue wasn't why they lost.

"They had the same situation, right?" he said. "It's just sometimes how it is. We have an experienced team, we've been in those situations before where we know how to prepare for a game like that. And I don't think it's an excuse about tonight's loss."

Video: WSH@PHI: Konecny buries wrist shot at the doorstep

Hayes put the Flyers ahead 3-2 with 2:01 remaining in the second period. With Philadelphia killing a penalty, Flyers forward Scott Laughton checked Capitals defenseman John Carlson at the Flyers blue line to force a turnover. Hayes got the puck, skated in on Holtby, faked a shot, dragged the puck around him and tucked it around the goalie's left leg.

"I was going to shoot at the beginning and I think he was taking it away," Hayes said. "I've got a long stick, so figured I might as well go out as far as I can."

Konecny gave Philadelphia a 1-0 lead at 3:24 of the first period after Flyers forward Sean Couturier took the puck from Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen. Backstrom tied it 1-1 with a one-timer from the left circle at 7:11, and Vrana put the Capitals ahead 2-1 at 12:34.

Hagg's first goal in 32 games tied it 2-2 with 42 seconds left in the period.

Video: WSH@PHI: Vrana wires home wrist shot from the slot

Allowing goals late in periods and failing to execute on the power play upset Capitals coach Todd Reirden.

"You have a game plan going into back-to-back games, certain key things that have given us success all year," he said. "One of them has been goals in the first or last minutes of games. We give up a goal so that they get some momentum at the end of the first ... and special teams are always important, we give up a shorthanded goal. Those two things, coupled with an unforced error on their first goal, we had to fight against it tonight. Disappointed in those areas of our game."

 

They said it

"It was one of those games where you play pretty good in the second period, and the breakaway is a save I would like to have for the guys, but I thought it was a pretty evenly matched game. They're a good team. A couple plays here and there that went their way." -- Capitals goalie Braden Holtby

"We played the right way. Started with our goalie, our [defensemen] played well, we got the puck out as quick as we can, got it behind their defensemen, and I thought it was a full 60-minute effort." -- Flyers forward Kevin Hayes

 

Need to know

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who is tied with Teemu Selanne for 11th in NHL history with 684 goals, had four shots. ... Backstrom has seven points (one goal, six assists) during a seven-game point streak. ... Vrana has 19 goals, all at even strength. He has five points (four goals, one assist) during a four-game point streak. ... Kuznetsov had an assist on Vrana's goal and has nine points (four goals, five assists) during a seven-game point streak. ... Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere missed the game because of a knee injury. He had an MRI on Wednesday, but the Flyers had no update as to how long he might be out. Defenseman Mark Friedman, recalled from Lehigh Valley of the American Hockey League, played 11:49 in his season debut for Philadelphia. … Hagg last scored March 23 against the New York Islanders.

 

What's next

Capitals: Host the New Jersey Devils on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV)

Flyers: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSP+, SUN, NHL.TV)

Video: Hayes propels Flyers to 3-2 victory over Capitals

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