Whenever the Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals face each other, fireworks are almost certain to explode. Sunday afternoon in the nation’s capital was no different.
Going into the third period, the Flyers were down by two goals. Their first period was one to forget. The second period was better, but lazy defense cost them two goals. During the second period, a scrum commenced in Washington’s zone. Tom Wilson, who has been a familiar face in each Flyers-Caps game, tried draw a penalty and captain Claude Giroux was enraged at Wilson. Giroux’s and Wilson’s faces were inches from each other before the referees had to separate them. After that, the Flyers became a different team.
They swarmed the Capitals in the third period and tied the game thanks to Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux, but what truly gave the Flyers life was a costly five-minute boarding penalty from Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov*.Halway into the power play, the Flyers broke through Braden Holtby. Kimmo Timonen swept the puck to Voracek who one-timed the pass into the back of the net. The goal was Voracek’s 16th of the year.
Down one goal with just over a minute left in the game, head coach Craig Berube pulled Steve Mason for an extra attacker. The man advantage worked, and Giroux redirected a shot from Voracek to tie the game. The goal was Giroux’s second goal of the game and his third point of the afternoon.
Vincent Lecavalier scored his 14th goal of the season in overtime to complete the comeback.
Steve Mason earned his 25th win of the season, stopping 25 shots.
The Capitals controlled play in the first period and went into the intermission holding a 2-1 lead. Orlov scored 6:06 into the first period. Giroux answered with his patented slap shot from the right circle to tie the game at 1-1. Marcus Johansson scored on a tip-in for the last goal of the first period.
Sean Couturier showed us all what he could possibly become during a penalty kill. Couturier pressured the Capitals in their own zone and picked up an errant pass behind the net. Seeing multiple players closing in on him, Couturier passed to Adam Hall who fired a shot to tie the game at 2-2.
The momentum would be shortlived. Fifty seconds after Hall’s goal, Jay Beagle scored on a nice pass from Joel Ward. Orlov scored again with less than four minutes left in the second period to give the Capitals a two-goal cushion going into the third period.
Sunday afternoon’s win was the 11th time the Flyers went into the third period trailing and came back to win the game. While these games can be fun to watch, the Flyers cannot keep digging these holes for themselves. Over the course of an 82-game schedule, these game tire them out.
*Orlov was suspended for two games for his hit on Schenn.