By Kevin Fortier (Twitter @ ksfortier)
The Flyers hosted the Washington Capitals last night. The Capitals are number one in the NHL in points and goals for. They came out on fire and had the Flyers on their heels almost immediately, dominating the first period. The Flyers surged back in the second, controlling the play and shutting down the Capitals’ offense for the rest of the game. They dominated the overtime period as well, but lost in the shootout. It was the Flyers third straight shootout game and fourth straight overtime game.
Washington jumped on the Flyers from the first faceoff and played most of the first period in the Flyers’ end. If not for Carter Hart, the game would have been out of hand halfway through the first. Hart gave up only one goal, when John Carlson threaded a perfect pass to Brendan Leipsic, who beat Hart.
The Capitals held the Flyers to five shots on goal in the first period, and three of those came in the last 90 seconds of the period. Washington dominated nearly every aspect of play in the first, outshooting the Flyers 16 to 5. The Flyers’ penalty kill stopped two Washington power plays in the period.
Flyers Fight Back
The Flyers came out strong in the second. They found their transition game, and their defense shut down the Capitals’ strong offense. The Flyers had two power play opportunities but were unable to capitalize. Braden Holtby made some strong saves to keep the Capitals up 1-0 for the period.
The Flyers turned the tables in shots that period, outshooting the Capitals 12-6.
The Flyers continued their strong play as the third period started. They had the better of the chances, and their defense continued to stymie the Capitals’ opportunities. The Flyers tied the game on a spectacular rush up ice that led to a tic-tac-toe play where Claude Giroux scored on the fly from Jakub Voracek and Ivan Provorov.
Each team had solid opportunities throughout the rest of the period but failed to convert. Carlson had a good chance when he broke in on Hart with about four minutes left, but Hart was able to make the stop and keep the game tied.
The Caps outshot the Flyers 11-10 in the third and 36-31 for the game.
The Flyers dominated the overtime period from the start. Sean Couturier rang a shot off the post while the Flyers had the Capitals stuck in their end for nearly three minutes. The Capitals players were exhausted after being stuck on the ice for so long, but Alex Ovechkin still managed a breakaway, which Hart stopped. It was the Caps’ only real chance in overtime.
In the shootout, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored for Washington, while Giroux was the only Flyer able to get a puck by Holtby.
The Flyers played a very solid game and dominated the final 45 minutes of play, picking up a point off the NHL’s top team.