The Capitals have made it the norm recently coming back from large deficits to win games late, but last night that was not the case. After a first period that was pretty evenly played between both the Flyers (10 shots on goal) and Caps (9 shots on goal), the second period is where the action picked up.
A Hi-sticking minor penalty on Flyers Kimmo Timonen near the end of the first period, carried over into the second period. Alex Ovechkin scored his 28th goal of the season just forty seconds into the period. It was a nice backhand put back after the puck trickled around in front of goalie Steve Mason. Washington had an early lead in Wells Fargo Center, but the lead did not last. Not even a minute later, Jakub Voracek came down with a 2 on 1 man advantage and stuck it past goalie Braden Holtby.
The game was tied at one, but the scoring was nowhere near done for the remainder of the period. After Martin Erat just threw a pass just out of the reach of Troy Brouwer, Troy made a nice hustle play. He chased down the puck behind the net and found Eric Fehr in front for his fifth goal of the season. Washington regained the lead once again, but Philly broke through once again.
Approaching the twelve-minute mark into the period, Matt Read beat Holtby for his tenth goal of the season. The game was tied once again, but the game changed with just five minutes to go in the second. Thomas Wilson came in with a vicious hit on Brayden Schenn, which sparked a fight amongst the majority of the players on the ice. The rivalry game began to get more chippy and physical at this point. Wilson was charged with a five minute major for boarding. The Caps know what it is like to benefit off of a major penalty, but this time they were on the other end of it.
Mark Streit opened up the power play scoring just below two minutes into the power play. Washington had given up the lead and there was still plenty of time remaining on the Flyer man advantage. Voracek scored the second power play goal of the game and also his second, minutes before the period’s conclusion. The five-minute major was the difference at this point as the Caps headed to the locker room down 4-2 on the road.
Not much changed for Washington in the third frame of the game. They were able to kill the little amount of time remaining on the Flyers power play. They had come back from this deficit before, but luck eventually runs low. After a couple of great breakaway saves by Holtby, the third time was a charm for Philly. After defender John Carlson misplayed the puck, it led to an easy breakaway goal for Wayne Simmonds to put the game out of reach.
Washington had a good opportunity to create some space in the division ahead of Philadelphia, but they let these past two opportunities squander. The Caps were fortunate to come back and win Sunday’s game at the Verizon Center. When you look at it with perspective, Washington came away with two points, but the Flyers got three out of a possible four. They have a good opportunity coming up this weekend. The Capitals travel to take on the Carolina Hurricanes this Friday, who they are yet to beat this season so far.