Flyers Defeat Capitals, Move Closer to Metro Lead with 7th Straight Win
When the schedule hits March, the games become magnified. There wasn't one left on the schedule bigger than this one, a date with the Metropolitan Division leaders with a chance to close the gap to the division lead.
The Flyers fell behind in the first, but responded with a strong second and third period to secure their third win of the season against the Washington Capitals, claiming a 5-2 victory in Washington on Wednesday night.
Washington got the lead with the first goal of the game in the final six minutes of the period. The Capitals got a rush off a face-off and Richard Panik used a nice behind-the-back pass to get the puck in front to Lars Eller, who went upstairs on Brian Elliott to make it 1-0 Washington.
Shots were even, 7-7, after the first 20 minutes in what was a physical first period that featured a fight between Tom Wilson and Nate Thompson.
The Flyers got three early power-play chances in the second, including a brief 5-on-3 for 12 seconds. The Flyers thought they had a goal when Travis Konecny threw the puck into a pileup near the crease that appeared to get under Braden Holtby. On replay, the puck was not visible and therefore the goal did not count.
It did not take Konecny long to get one that did count. On the rest of the power play, Ivan Provorov fired a shot from the point that left a rebound and it sat perfectly at Konecny's feet after hitting his body. Konecny buried it for his 24th of the season, tying a career-high.
Shortly after another power play midway through the period, the Flyers struck again. Nicolas Aube-Kubel threw a shot toward the goal and Derek Grant re-directed the attempt with his skate to the side of the net where Kevin Hayes was able to bury it for his 23rd goal of the season to give the Flyers the lead with just over five minutes to play in the period.
Just over two minutes later, the Flyers got another chance off the rush and finished as Michael Raffl set up Tyler Pitlick in front to make it 3-1.
But before the period came to a close, the Capitals were able to take advantage of a Flyers turnover. Wilson set up Garnet Hathaway alone in front and he went upstairs on Elliott.
In the closing seconds of the period, Wilson took a run at Claude Giroux and that led to another scrap between Wilson and Robert Hagg.
Through two periods, shots were 25-15 Flyers.
The Flyers had to dodge an early bullet in the third with Raffl taking a hooking penalty. The Capitals did not score and that set up the Flyers for a chance to add some insurance.
Off a rush, Jake Voracek pulled up upon entering the zone and made a nice cross-ice pass to the trailer in Provorov. Provorov cut in and fired a shot that beat Holtby to the glove side to make it 4-2 at 6:36.
As the third started to wind down, the Flyers were looking to lock up the win and got one more goal to cap things off. Scott Laughton's centering pass hit the skate of Dmitry Orlov and went in to make it 5-2 with 5:45 left in the game.
Elliott finished the game with 25 saves in the win. Holtby had 24 saves in the loss.
Hayes and Provorov each had a goal and an assist. Grant finished with a pair of assists.
The one blemish on the loss was an injury to James van Riemsdyk. van Riemsdyk blocked a shot with his right hand and left the game in the first period. After the game, it was revealed that he suffered a broken hand and there is no timetable for his return. Joel Farabee will be called up and join the Flyers roster for their next game on Thursday.
The Flyers win was their seventh straight, extending a season-long streak and moved them back to within a point of the Metropolitan Division lead.
The Flyers are back on the ice on Thursday night when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes at home at 7 p.m.
- WSH Lars Eller (16) (Richard Panik, Carl Hagelin) 14:09
- PHI Travis Konecny (24) PP (Ivan Provorov, Claude Giroux) 7:06
- PHI Kevin Hayes (23) (Derek Grant, Nicolas Aube-Kubel) 14:48
- PHI Tyler Pitlick (8) (Michael Raffl, Grant) 17:05
- WSH Garnet Hathaway (8) (Tom Wilson, Nic Dowd) 18:32
- PHI Provorov (12) (Jake Voracek) 6:36
- PHI Scott Laughton (13) (Hayes) 14:15