The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals Tuesday night by a score of 5-2. They will now play a home-and-home against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday and Saturday. Here is a recap of tonight’s game:
Neither team got off to a fast start in the first period. There were relatively few chances, but the goaltenders were ready when tested. The Capitals had the early lead in shots, but the Flyers caught up as the period progressed. With four minutes remaining in the period the Flyers went on a power play and on it was then that they had their best chances of the period. Mark Streit ringed a point shot off the post. The Flyers were unable to convert and with 45 seconds left in the period Kimmo Timonen took a high sticking penalty. At the end of the period, shots were 10-9 in favor of the Flyers but the score was still tied.
The second period, unlike the first, was about as entertaining as they come. Alexander Ovechkin put the Capitals in the lead only 40 seconds into the period. Fifty-eight seconds later the Flyers were able to tie it up. Braydon Coburn sent a long breakout pass to Jakub Voracek who used Claude Giroux as a decoy on a two-on-one. Voracek slipped the puck through Holtby’s five-hole. Unfortunately, Eric Fehr gave the Capitals the lead only a few minutes later. The Flyers were controlling play, but could not get a break. Finally, with eight minutes left, Matt Read got a good bounce in front of the net and tied up the game. With just under five minutes remaining in the period Tom Wilson charged Brayden Schenn. Both in slow motion and in real time the hit looked vicious. Wilson was given five minutes for charging, five for fighting (The Flyers immediately jumped him after the hit and multiple fights ensued), and a game misconduct. Schenn stumbled trying to get up after the hit and was taken to the locker room. On the ensuing power play the Flyers were able to capitalize twice. Mark Streit shot a laser from the point to give the Flyers the 3-2 lead and only 72 seconds later, Voracek gave the Flyers a two goal lead. The period ended with the Flyers up 4-2 and leading in shots 22-14.
The Flyers came out in the third period determined not to have a repeat of Sunday afternoon. They dominated play out of the gate. Braden Holtby made a few brilliant saves on the Raffl-Giroux-Voracek line before Wayne Simmonds was able to give the Flyers a three goal lead 7:29 into the period. The rest of the period went back and forth. Both Mason and Holtby made quality saves and there were a few minor penalties. Unlike Sunday, the Flyers were able to close out the game and come away with a 5-2 regulation win.
-When the Flyers defensemen get involved in the scoring, they’re a much better team. Voracek’s first goal was the direct result of a great stretch pass by Coburn. Streit has finally started shooting the puck. He hit the post in the first period and scored in the second. Timonen ended up with two assists while Gustafsson and Grossmann each had one assist. The only defenseman without a point tonight was Luke Schenn.
-Steve Mason had a strong rebound from Sunday’s performance. Ovechkin’s first goal was relatively soft, but the second goal was a result of poor coverage from Giroux/Gustafsson. Mason made 24 saves on 26 shots. He made the necessary momentum saves to keep the Flyers in the game.
-Brayden Schenn has officially been diagnosed with an ‘upper-body injury.’ The way he went into the boards and his reaction as he got up were not pretty. He could be out for a little bit. If so, the Flyers will need to call up a forward and find someone to play second line center. The Flyers should release more information regarding his status tomorrow.
-Even though they did not register any points, both Sean Couturier and Michael Raffl looked sharp. Raffl continued to play well on the top line. He had numerous scoring chances and used his speed effectively. Couturier was all over the ice, playing over 23 minutes.
-Matt Read became the first Flyer to reach double-digit goals this season, scoring his 10th of the year. Voracek scored two, his 7th and 8th, of the year. He now has five goals in his last five games. Mark Streit now has goals in two straight games and three on the season.