Travis Konecny scores three as Flyers hold off Capitals

Flyers (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)
Flyers (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

It’s always a beautiful thing to see the hats come flying down to the ice at the Wells Fargo Center when a Flyer scores a hat trick. And we got to see it last night thanks to an epic game by Travis Konecny. Konecny scored a goal, a power play goal, and a short-handed goal as he lifted the Flyers to a 5-3 victory over the Washington Capitals. By the way, Alex Ovechkin was scoreless.

However, Ovi did help kick the scoring off for the Flyers. He was called for tripping Owen Tippett and had to sit and sin bin for a few minutes. On the power play, Scott Laughton took a pass from Tony DeAngelo from near the blue line and rifled it past Darcy Kuemper for the first goal of the game.

The Caps would tie it up near the end of the first period. Nick Jensen was charging up toward Carter Hart on the right. Hart didn’t see him, but Garnet Hathaway was creeping up to the left side with DeAngelo nearby; also not seeing. Jensen dumped a pass to Hathaway who scored. The Flyers would break the tie 20 seconds later when Konecny was fed a pass from behind the net by Joel Farabee.

Travis Konecny gets a hat trick with the Flyers in win over Capitals

Tippett got in on the action five minutes into the third. Racing down the right side, he fired off a wrist shot from the faceoff circle and found the back of the net. A few minutes later, the Caps were on the power play. Ivan Provorov intercepted a pass and played it off the boards to Laughton. Laughton and Konecny raced down the ice with Laughton dumping it over to TK. Konecny shot and scored a shorthanded goal to give the Flyers a 4-1 lead.

But the Caps came roaring back as any team with a good stable of vets can do. At 9:18, Marcus Johansson scored an unassisted goal. Then five minutes later, TJ Oshie deflected a shot by Backstrom into the net. Now it’s a one-goal game. The last thing we wanted to see was the Caps steal another one away from the Flyers.

In the final minutes of the game, the Capitals pulled Kuemper. And in that time, Tom Wilson tripped Laughton. It’s not usually a wise decision to have an empty net and then put yourself down a man. Still, Washington did it. And during the power play, Laughton intercepted a pass on the ice and fell down. While on the ice, he flicked it over the Konecny, who skated forward to ensure that he would get his hat trick.  And the hats rained down on the ice. Oh, it’s a beautiful thing!

Flyers (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

In addition to Konecny’s three-goal game, Laughton had a goal and three assists. Tippett chipped in with two points and put the Flyers on the power play three times by drawing three tripping penalties. Hart stopped 26 of 29 shots. TK now has 24 goals on the season, which ties his career high. He also has six goals in the five games the Flyers have played since January 1.

Flyers: Saturday’s Preview

Since these two teams will battle it out again this weekend, you can expect more of the same. With the Caps playing at home, they will probably be more determined to do their best to get back to winning consistently. As stated in the game preview, they are in a phase where they win one and then lose one. Let’s hope history doesn’t repeat itself.

With the Flyers surging as of late, they are gaining ground in the Eastern Conference standings. Another win this weekend against their divisional rivals could boost them even further as the Caps are starting to slide backward. This is a chance that the Flyers can’t afford to lose right now.

Likewise, with Hart playing on Thursday night, it might be an opportunity for Samuel Ersson to get in the action and test himself against one of the all-time greats in Ovechkin. With him getting a shutout against the red-hot Sabres, it might be a good idea to test him there. If not, you could see Ersson start next week against the mighty Boston Bruins.

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The Flyers are playing well right now. If they keep this up, they could be one of those teams that come out of nowhere and start to surprise everyone. Remember, it’s not how you start but how you finish that matters. They have shown a lot of resilience as of late and are still not out of it. They have a long road ahead, but they can gain some ground if they keep working hard.