In the second game of another three-game mini-series, the Washington Capitals traveled to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers. Both clubs are coming off of overtime and shootout victories from Tuesday night. The Flyers elected to go with Brian Elliott after he relieved Carter Hart during Tuesday’s tilt. Samsonov got the call for the Capitals after his outstanding performance against the Flyers on Sunday.
Michael Raffl is still nursing a hand injury as he has missed his second straight game. Andy Andreoff slots in on the fourth line at the wing as Nolan Patrick takes the center. Other notable news is Phil Myers being a healthy scratch as Alain Vigneault doesn’t believe that his play has been consistent enough.
Turning over the puck to the wrong guy on the ice is going to cost you as Ovechkin rips a slapshot past Elliot for the first goal of the game. With that goal, Ovechkin inches closer to Phil Esposito for all-time goal leaders in sixth place.
Happy Birthday Travis Konecny! The power play is beginning to click as Konecny buried a huge goal to knot the score up at one apiece. But as the season’s narrative continues, the Flyers allow another goal minutes later after they score as Connor Sheary scores his sixth of the season.
For the second time this season, fans finally witnessed a fight between Andy Andreoff and Garnet Hathaway.
The fisticuffs gave the Flyers plenty of energy as they controlled the puck in the Capitals zone immediately afterward. The first period would then end with the Capitals leading 2-1.
Even with a heavily dominated half favored to the Flyers, the Capitals found a wide-open John Carlson to extend their lead to 3-1. The Capitals continued to control the game after their third goal as Nic Dowd scored a nitty-gritty goal off the foot of Ghostisbehere. With less than a minute and a half to go in the second, the officials decided to cut the period short due to a crack in the glass. The remaining minutes of the second period will be played after the intermission so they can replace the glass.
Early in the third period, during four-on-four play, Sean Couturier found Ivan Provorov for a beautiful goal to cut the Capitals lead to two. Just halfway through the third period, the Flyers answered once again as Scott Laughton scored his seventh goal of the season.
With thirty seconds left, Nic Dowd scored his second of the night on the Philadelphia Flyers’ empty net, which would be the dagger in the coffin. Don’t worry, Flyers fans. It won’t be long until we have to face the Washington Capitals again.
Flyers vs. Capitals: Three Takeaways
Stop Allowing Momentum Changes
One of the biggest struggles this team has had to endure this season is allowing the opponent to score minutes after. This changes the momentum of the entire game, and it’s getting old. Below is a chart from @RevolvingHockey on goals scored within minutes of scoring a goal. Note, this chart is from March 6th, but currently they are tied with the Oilers.
Allowing teams to score after you score a big goal will keep biting you in the butt if you allow it to happen. It not only sucks, but it takes away all of the momenta that you just gained from scoring that goal. Something needs to be fixed about this because it is beginning to become concerning.
Temperatures Are Starting To Rise
With these mini-series between teams, the players begin to hate each other as the games progress. There were plenty of gatherings after whistles, and the hits in tonight’s tilt were neck and neck. A little bit of drama was started as Travis Konecny tapped Chara on the back of the calf during a stoppage in play. Chara retaliated by slashing Konecny in the bag of the legs and dumping him to ice.
With this season continuing and being only the third game against the Capitals, expect these games to get even more competitive and physical. These two teams are supposed to be in the top tier of the NHL, and they are going to do whatever it takes to win games. Playing the body in today’s NHL is rare but is necessary against talented players. Expect some more fireworks on Saturday as the Capitals visit the Wells Fargo Center once again.
This Team Is A Pain In The Glass
Yeah, stealing the Flyers Twitter accounts pun isn’t cool, but this team was downright terrible tonight. The crack in the glass tonight is exactly how every fan is feeling during tonight’s game, and it’s a beautiful example of how the Flyers have been playing of late.
Lots of optimism surrounded this season, but we have only seen small glimpses of hope as it progressed. Allowing teams to score go-ahead goals and digging yourself a hole shouldn’t be your game plan night in and night out. There are glaring issues that this team needs to figure out if they will be a playoff contender this year.
There wasn’t much to like about this game, obviously. The Capitals have played a dominant game against the Flyers for the past two games, and they are showing no signs of slowing down. With tonight’s 5-3 win, the Capitals are currently riding a three-game riding streak.
Another disappointing loss, but this team is not playing to their potential. They played hard, but trying to crawl themselves back into games is not a way to win games. They have abandoned the “shoot first” mentality and are getting back to the pass first play.
With another important must-win game against the Capitals on Saturday, it will be interesting to see what Alain Vigneault might mend together. The lineup hasn’t been consistent all season, and the month of March isn’t going to allow them that.
Photo by Andy Lewis/Icon Sportswire