- :48 in and Neuvirth already has a bad handle on the puck and turns it over behind the net. Not as bad as it sounds, but definitely needs cleaned up.
- 1:18 in and the move to 2C is already paying dividends. Wayne Simmonds and Nolan Patrick go on a 2 on 1, Simmonds feeds across the net to Patrick and he dekes to the backhand and puts one past Holtby, 1-0 Flyers. Beautiful goal, and even more beautiful that he is finding some success on the second line so quickly.
- 6:00 in and another 2 on 1 develops with Giroux and Konecny. G feeds TK and Holtby absolutely robs him. Great save, but Konecny isn’t going to go quietly.
- Around the same time, you see Nolan Patrick make a great play to keep the puck in their offensive zone. His game seems to be rounding a corner lately.
- 7:40, and Ovechkin proves that he is the best #8 on the ice by undressing Robert Hagg, to no avail though because he can’t finish.
- 7:50, Coots and TK get an opportunity, and Konecny makes sure to finish what he started about 2 minutes prior, and puts one home past Holtby, 2-0 Flyers. Djoos and Couturier got tied up and Djoos went into Holtby, no interference call.
- 11:00 Hagg takes a hit up high, ends up returning momentarily.
- 15:44 and we have our first penalty, Hagg to the box for holding. Flyers kill of the penalty despite some stellar puck movement, but no shots on goal.
I tweeted out before the game, the Flyers needed a quick start or else Washington would bury them. Well, that was definitely fast. Not to mention, Patrick didn’t take long to get used to his new linemates. Simmonds caught a great pass from Voracek to start the 2 on 1 and Patrick had an incredible deke to free up the backhand and lift it past Holtby. The more comfortable this kid gets, the better it fares for the depth of this team. Things are about to get very interesting. Hagg had a pretty crappy period there with Ovechkin dancing past him, the high hit that benched him for a few minutes, and the penalty. Expect him to rebound pretty quick, he has been one of the Flyers’ most steady defensemen all year and that isn’t about to stop.
- 2:14 in and the Capitals are on the board. Stephenson pokes one in on Neuvirth who looked absolutely clueless, and the game is 2-1.
- :47 later, and Stephenson strikes again, this time on a breakaway. Second goal that falls on Brandon Manning’s shoulders. Left the one side of the ice wide open for Stephenson to walk right in and put another past Neuvy. 2-2 and it’s tied up.
- 6:00 in and Konecny gets another chance on Holtby, misses, and another chance by the Flyers and a save by Holtby. As bad as he looked giving up 2 goals in the first, he looks that much better in the second.
- 9:00 and who else but Jori Freaking Lehtera is walking in on Holtby. He makes a decent dish to Goulbourne, but he swings and misses, for a second time tonight. Wow.
- 9:48 John Carlson gets called for a trip. Flyers go on the PECO POWERPLAY!
- 11:48 and the Flyers powerplay is over, and looked atrocious. Eller had a 2 on 1 and Neuvy looked pretty slow pipe to pipe on the “save” if that’s what you want to call it. Slower than normal, I should say.
- 13:25 and MacDonald is in the box for slashing. Shocker!
- 14:32 Burakovsky gets a great feed from Eller along the boards and taps it in. 3-2 Caps. Manning blew coverage again. One again, let me say, SHOCKER!
- 17:00 and Eller hooked Weal, but no call. I won’t complain about the officiating in this game, but that was pretty blatant.
The Flyers came out flat, plain and simple. There is no other way to describe the way they played this period. The Caps came out motivated to tie or take the lead, and they did just that with little resistance. The only bright spot in that period is that Konecny is continuing his constant pressure on Holtby and making him make plays. He has been a new man ever since joining the top line and I for one am sold on keeping him there for the long haul. If the Flyers want to tie this game, or better yet, win it, they need to come out in the third like they did in the first. If they don’t do that, don’t expect two points out of their trip to Washington.
- 4:16 in and we have a hooking call on Nolan Patrick, which was suspect because it clearly looked like his stick was being held onto. However, I’m not an NHL ref, so what would I know?
- 5:28 Oshie finishes the Powerplay and the Caps go up 4-2. Hagg lost his stick and Filppula offered his up, but to no avail. Costly mistake.
- About 8 minutes in, and Wilson laid out Manning along the boards, proceeds to feed Ovechkin and he misses a wide open net, then Simmonds hits Orpik, who proceeds to piss and moan to the ref, to no avail once again.
- Then, Djoos passes to Beagle, back to Djoos and he shoots, deflects off of Smith-Pelly and into the back of the net, Caps lead 5-2.
- 9:58 and Manning decides to start caring, starts throwing down with Chiasson after a questionable hit. Manning skates away the “victor” but really the loser.
- Somehow, some way, the fight pumped up the Flyers and Voracek deflects one from Patrick and Provorov, the Flyers only trail by 2 now and it’s 5-3.
- Alex Lyon in the game now, and he shows some great pipe-to-pipe movement on a save on a cross ice one timer. Small sample size, but Lyon looks like a pretty capable backup to Neuvirth while Elliott is out.
- Lyon is pulled with a little over 2 left, and nothing fun happens, the Flyers lose 5-3.
The Flyers got my hopes up. I was really excited after the first period when they went into the intermission with a 2-0 lead. After that, it was all downhill. Literally, I would have rather been rolled down a steep hill than watched them collapse like they did. There were flashes here and there of the first period team that seemed so far lost, but aside from that, they looked flat, uninspired, and honestly, like they just didn’t care. This team has been stellar up until this point. Up until tonight and after they ended a 10 game losing streak, they were 16-6-1. That’s pretty damn good considering the division they are in. This team hasn’t given up hope. They’re going to have off nights. However, those off nights need to be few and far between considering that they are constantly battling for contention in a ridiculously good Metropolitan division.
Tonight sucked, but let’s be honest, the Flyers have taken 2 out of 3 against Washington so far, and that’s not bad considering the fact that the Caps are leading the division. The Flyers have a lot of hockey left to play, and that means a lot of time left to make up for sloppy collapses like tonight. The rust has been shaken off from the all-star break, and expect the Flyers to come out tomorrow night firing on all cylinders against their cross-river rivals in the New Jersey Devils.
Mandatory Credit: Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports