The Flyers topped the Capitals in a shoot out of a game on the strength of a Scott Laughton hat trick and despite losing the corsi battle again. This game has a strange vibe to it, where the three goal victory defied the numbers and the feeling of the game.
CF:22 CA:19 CF%: 53.66%
The Flyers were able to out chance the Capitals in the period, and it certainly felt that way. The Caps would end the period with the lead, but it seemed that the Flyers were constantly on the verge of scoring. It was the inverse of the games against the Bruins, where Philadelphia constantly appeared to be on the brink of conceding a goal.
The Flyers controlled the balance of play in the period except when Ovechkin, Wilson and Backstrom were on the ice. Even then, it seemed the teams were trading chances, rather than the Caps’ dominating play. Trading chances with the Capitals top line is certainly a losing strategy long term, but it is better than being dominated.
CF:15 CA:21 CF%: 41.67%
The Flyers seemed to dominate chances, with a one notable exception. The Patrick V. Backstrom matchup went poorly for them in the second period. In the period’s first 60 seconds, with Patrick facing Backstrom, the Caps racked up a 5- 0 CF advantage. Three minutes later, Patrick again would face Backstrom. The Patrick line would allow four chances, while attempting zero, before conceding an Ovechkin goal off the post. That nine-shot deficit was the difference period, and Patrick’s play was what made the statistical difference in the period.
CF:13 CA:15 CF%: 47.62%
The Flyers grabbed the lead early in the third period and were carrying play until Sean Couturier was high sticked by Zdeno Chara. The Flyers would enjoy a four-minute powerplay. “Enjoy” might be the wrong word, as the entire effort left much to be desired.
The malaise of the power play seemed to put the them into a bit of a funk, and for the first time it felt like it was only a matter of time before the Caps would score. This was most pronounced by a defensive zone turnover by Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who was unable to direct the puck with his skates out of the zone. The Capitals would quickly rack up 3 shot attempts, leaving the Flyers with a weak clear to center as their only option to relieve the pressure.
WAS Daniel Sprong CF:7 CA:2 CF% 77.78%
Sprong was not terribly noticeable during the first two periods, but he was key in a dangerous Caps’ possession in the third period. His forechecking efforts forced a NAK turnover that led to four chances. Most of his CF came from that single shift.
PHI Nolan Patrick CF:7 CA:18 CF%: 28.00
Patrick seemed to have more jump when he was paired with Giroux, but he was only paired with the captain for 19 seconds of 5 V. 5. Patrick was most prominently used with Lindblom and Voracek, and that trio was eaten alive by Backstrom’s line which collected 12 of their 25 CF attempts when lining up against Patrick.
Patrick has been recovering from a migraine disorder and is still clearly finding his game He is certainly being targeted as a weak link in the lineup.
CF:50 CA:55 CF%: 47.62%
In a confused game with a misleading score line, the corsi stats make sense, but only if seen in conjunction with micro focused, player view. The Flyers carried play, they were better for most of the 5 v. 5 play. The exception was when Patrick’s line was on the ice against the Backstrom line.
This match up tilted the balance of corsi numbers to favor the Capitals along with a 2-0 5 v. 5 goals advantage.
The Backstrom-Wilson-Ovechkin line did massive damage, but fortunately for the Flyers, the trio could only play so much (over 20 minutes each). Their play against the other Caps was just enough to overcome the Backstrom line’s complete domination.