Konecny’s Hat Trick Leads Flyers Past Capitals
Entering Wednesday night's game between the Flyers and Washington Capitals, no player in the NHL had a longer active points streak than Travis Konecny. Not Connor McDavid. Not Sidney Crosby. Not Alex Ovechkin, playing on the opposition at Wells Fargo Center.
Konecny kept his points streak going strong, reaching 10 games with a hat trick and bringing his season total to 24 goals, matching a career-high, as the Flyers claimed a 5-3 win over the Capitals.
The Flyers came out with a good push early. When they got the game's first power play, they made quick work of it.
Just 13 seconds into the man-advantage, Scott Laughton fired a shot from the point that beat Darcy Kuemper to make it 1-0 at 7:26. It was Laughton's 10th goal of the season.
The Flyers kept the pressure on throughout the period, but in the final minute, the Capitals took advantage of an opportunity. Nick Jensen was able to get around Travis Sanheim entering the zone to create a two-on-one, setting up Garnet Hathaway for the backdoor play to even things at one with 53.4 seconds remaining.
But just 21 seconds later, the Flyers re-gained the lead, as Konecny buried the centering feed from Joel Farabee with 32.5 seconds remaining. Through 20 minutes, shots were 15-10 Flyers.
The Flyers continued to generate chances in the second period, but Kuemper kept the margin at one. After two periods, the Flyers had a 27-18 lead in shots.
Early in the third, the Flyers were finally able to add to their lead. At 5:31, Owen Tippett was one-on-one on a rush the other way and fired a laser high on Kuemper to make it 3-1 Flyers with his 13th goal of the season.
Just over a minute later, the Capitals got their first power play of the game, but it was the Flyers who would take advantage. A short-handed two-on-one resulted in a goal as Laughton fed Konecny for his second goal of the game and 23rd of the season at 7:28.
Less than two minutes later, the Capitals got a gift to cut the lead to two. Ivan Provorov turned the puck over with an aimless pass to the slot in the defensive zone. Marcus Johansson was there to take it and bury his chance for his 11th goal of the season at 9:18.
With 5:18 to play, the Capitals cut the lead to one. A broken coverage allowed T.J. Oshie to get space, and he made a move to the backhand to score his eighth goal of the season and make it a 4-3 game.
In the closing minutes of the third, the Capitals pulled the goalie, then took a penalty to put the Flyers on the power play for the final 1:19 of play. Konecny capped off the hat trick then, the second of his career, scoring into an empty net for his 24th goal of the season with 12.3 seconds remaining.
In addition to Konecny's hat trick, Laughton had a goal and two assists for a three-point game. Tippett also had an assist along with his goal for a multi-point game.
Carter Hart made 26 saves on 29 shots in the win. Kuemper made 31 saves on 35 shots in the loss.
The Flyers and Capitals will face each other again on Saturday, this time in Washington, at 7 p.m.
- PHI Scott Laughton (10) PP (Tony DeAngelo, Owen Tippett) 7:26
- WSH Garnet Hathaway (6) (Nick Jensen, Nic Dowd) 19:06
- PHI Travis Konecny (22) (Joel Farabee) 19:27
- No Scoring
- PHI Tippett (13) (James van Riemsdyk) 5:31
- PHI Konecny (23) SH (Laughton, Ivan Provorov) 7:28
- WSH Marcus Johansson (11) (Unassisted) 9:18
- WSH T.J. Oshie (8) (Nicklas Backstrom, Martin Fehervary) 14:42
- PHI Konecny (24) PP-EN (Laughton) 19:47
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.
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