The Philadelphia Flyers came into the game against the Washington Capitals on a high, after beating the Vancouver Canucks 3-2 on Sunday night. They were looking to avenge a 5-0 loss to the Capitals back on January 15, 2017.
The Flyers are coming off a 1-2 road trip, and they are trying to decide if they should be buyers or sellers prior to the March 1 trading deadline. Jakub Voracek seems to think the Flyers are in good shape heading towards the end of the season.
On Tuesday Jakub Voracek stated, “Last year nobody would have guessed we would make the playoffs, and we did. We are in a better spot this year than last year, points wise and standings wise. We just have to keep it going.”
Whether or not the Flyers were fueled by Voracek’s words, they were flat-out dominant early in the first period. Michal Neuvirth got the nod in net again, and it appears he is the number one goaltender at this point in the season. He made 25 saves in the loss, as the Flyers yet again cannot put back-to-back wins together.
The Flyers got off to a thunderous start, with Voracek scoring just 23 seconds into the game. He slammed home the rebound of Brandon Manning slap shot, appearing to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. Barry Trotz challenged the ruling on the play, and the goal was overturned on incidental contact.
The Capitals seemed energized after the disallowed goal, with Nicklas Backstrom winning a rare face off in the Flyers zone. He fired a wrist shot over the left shoulder of Neuvirth, giving the Capitals an early 1-0 lead. It was Backstrom’s 18th goal of the year.
Claude Giroux was called for a holding penalty at 11:44 in the first period. On the ensuing power play, the Capitals registered three shots on net. Neuvirth made all three saves keeping the score 1-0 Capitals.
With four minutes remaining in the first period, Sean Couturier was called for an elbowing penalty. Evgeny Kunetsov scored off a rebound just 27 seconds into the power play, making the score 2-0 Capitals.
The period came to a close with the Flyers trailing 2-0. They outshot the Capitals 14-13 in the first period, and won the face off margin 76%-24%.
Just 6:54 into the second period, Brandon Manning took a slap shot from the point. Brayden Schenn redirected the puck past Holtby for his 19th goal of the year. This made the score 2-1 Capitals.
Zach Samford was called for a hooking penalty with 4:25 remaining in the second period. The Flyers managed three shots on the power play, but Holtby had the answers keeping the score 2-1.
Evgeny Kunetsov entered the flyers zone with two minutes left in the period. He took a wrist shot from the left circle, and the puck was redirected off Radko Gudas’s leg. It made its way past Neuvirth for a 3-1 Capitals lead.
The second period came to a close with the Capital’s leading the Flyers 3-1. Braden Holtby was the story of the second period, making three stellar saves that could have easily given the Flyers the lead. Both teams were tied for the period in shots with ten, and the Flyers won the faceoff margin 63%-37%.
The Flyers entered the third period destined to steal this game away from the Capitals. Alex Ovechkin was called for a slashing penalty just 6:14 into the period. On the ensuing power play, the Flyers registered just two shots on net. Holtby was strong making both saves keeping the score 3-1 Capitals.
With 4:25 remaining in the third stanza, TJ Oshie put the game away scoring his 14th goal of the year. He took a wrist shot from the right circle, and the puck found its way through traffic past Neuvirth for a 4-1 Capitals lead.
The game came to a close with the Flyers on the losing end 4-1. They did out shoot the capitals 34-29 for the game, and also won the faceoff margin 66%-34%.
This tilt had the makings for a Flyers victory. In the end, the Capitals depth led to this victory. The effort from the Flyers was there, but they could not solve Holtby. The Flyers next game is against the Pittsburgh Penguins, as they take their rivalry Outdoors at Heinz Field on Saturday night at 8 pm. Follow me on Twitter @JameyBaskow for all Flyers updates.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports