Flyers Can’t Overcome Early Mistakes in Loss to Capitals
The Flyers welcomed fans back to the building on Sunday and didn't have the energy to counter the Washington Capitals. On Thursday, the energy wasn't the problem, it was the execution.
Another mistake-filled game by the Flyers led to another loss, as the Capitals claimed their second win over the Flyers this week, 5-3, at Wells Fargo Center.
Early in the game, the Flyers were frequently in the defensive zone and on their heels. A successful penalty kill early kept Washington off the board, but the inability to get sustained pressure offensively would backfire midway through the period.
A loose puck went in on goal and Brian Elliott played it to the boards. The clear eluded Ivan Provorov and bounced back out into the high slot for Alex Ovechkin, who wired a shot off the post and in to give Washington the 1-0 lead with his ninth goal of the season.
Less than three minutes later, the Flyers were on the power play and cashed in. A shot by Shayne Gostisbehere was stopped and bounced out to Kevin Hayes with an open net. As Ilya Samsonov sprawled back across, Hayes dished into the slot for Travis Konecny, who fired home his seventh goal of the season on his 24th birthday.
Just under two minutes after the Flyers got on the board, another mistake gave Washington the lead back. The Flyers turned the puck over at the Washington blue line as Nicolas Aube-Kubel put Travis Sanheim in a bad spot with a pass. That allowed Daniel Sprong to take control and find a streaking Conor Sheary up the middle. Sheary went in on a breakaway and beat Elliott through the five-hole to make it 2-1.
Near the end of the period, Andy Andreoff and Garnet Hathaway dropped the gloves in a spirited bout. The Flyers finished the period with the next four shots on goal, bringing the total to 11-10 in favor of the Flyers through 20 minutes.
After several minutes to start the second without much generated from either side, the Capitals took over.
First, John Carlson cashed in with a goal off a feed from Jakub Vrana as the Flyers were late to get back on a backcheck. The goal marked Carlson's 500th NHL point and came at 6:58 of the period.
With 2:27 remaining in the period, Nic Dowd stepped around Travis Sanheim and put a chance to the net that hit Gostisbehere's skate and went in, making it 4-1 Washington.
Less than a minute later, with 1:29 to play in the period, the second period ended prematurely as the curved pane of glass next to the Flyers bench cracked. Through two periods, the Flyers had a 16-15 lead in shots.
The Flyers made things interesting in the third, getting the margin down to one.
At 1:43 of the third, with play at 4-on-4, Sean Couturier found an open Provorov and he went upstairs to make it 4-2.
At 10:45, Scott Laughton got on the board with a shot off iron and in to make it 4-3 with 9:15 to play.
From there, the Flyers had their chances. There was extended 4-on-4 time again that later turned into a Flyers power play due to a Washington bench minor. But unlike Tuesday, the late man-advantage went by the wayside, and with the goalie pulled in the final seconds, Dowd scored his second of the game into the empty net to cap the scoring.
Elliott made 17 saves in the loss. Samsonov made 29 saves in the win.
Konecny had a goal and an assist. Hayes had a pair of assists.
The Flyers get back on the ice on Saturday night, once again against the Capitals, at 7 p.m.
- WSH Alex Ovechkin (9) (Unassisted) 8:37
- PHI Travis Konecny (7) PP (Kevin Hayes, Shayne Gostisbehere) 11:14
- WSH Conor Sheary (6) (Daniel Sprong) 13:10
- WSH John Carlson (6) (Jakub Vrana, Evgeny Kuznetsov) 6:58
- WSH Nic Dowd (4) (Zdeno Chara) 17:33
- PHI Ivan Provorov (3) (Sean Couturier, Erik Gustafsson) 1:43
- PHI Scott Laughton (7) (Hayes, Konecny) 10:45
- WSH Dowd (5) EN (Ilya Samsonov) 19:32