The Flyers have started to make a habit out of needing extra time. For the sixth time in the last seven games, it took overtime to decide a game. For the fifth time, it required a shootout.
Facing the league's best team proved to be too much for the Flyers in the end, with the Flyers dropping a 2-1 decision in a shootout to the Washington Capitals, but not before a highly competitive and entertaining game at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.
The Capitals came out firing from the start, getting the first five shots on goal in the game and consistently generating sustained offensive zone pressure.
The pressure finally paid off at 6:13. John Carlson fired a shot that was stopped by Carter Hart, but Brendan Leipsic was alone in front to pick up the rebound and knock it home to give the Capitals the 1-0 lead.
Both teams had power play chances in the opening period. The Flyers successfully killed off a holding penalty to Matt Niskanen midway through the period and the Flyers couldn't take advantage of a power play in the final 4:36 of the period. The Capitals were back on the power play in the final minute of the period on a hooking penalty to Travis Sanheim.
Through 20 minutes, shots were 16-5 Capitals.
After killing off the remainder of the Sanheim penalty, the Flyers started to generate more offense. They had a pair of power plays in the period, but could not convert. The Flyers also outshot Washington, 12-6, in the period.
Both teams closest chances to scoring were a pair of posts. Jakub Vrana hit the post for Washington early in the period. Travis Konecny had a scoring chance catch iron at the end of a power play.
Through 40 minutes, the Capitals head a 22-17 lead in shots.
The Flyers came out with some solid play to start the third, but continued to be stymied by Holtby. Finally, with 13:45 left in the period, they got their opportunity, a fourth power play. This time, they capitalized.
Jake Voracek entered the zone with speed and put a move on former Flyer Radko Gudas. He fed a pass across to Claude Giroux, who buried the chance to tie the game at one at 6:38.
The rest of the period featured some wide-open hockey and the Capitals started to get the better of the chances down the stretch. The Flyers managed to hold on with the help of Hart, and forced overtime once again.
The Flyers dominated possession in overtime and nearly ended the game as Sean Couturier hit the post on a slap shot. Alex Ovechkin got a breakaway chance and put the opportunity wide before colliding into Hart and knocking the net off.
The game headed to a shootout and Voracek failed to score in the first round, lifting his attempt high and wide. T.J. Oshie scored for Washington, beating Hart through the five-hole. Giroux answered with a shot over the left shoulder of Holtby, but Evgeny Kuznetsov came back with a goal of his own. Couturier was not able to score in the third round to prolong the shootout.
Holtby finished with 30 saves on 31 shots in the win. Hart made 35 saves on 36 shots in the defeat.
The Flyers also picked up a point in the standings for the seventh straight game.
The Flyers get back on the ice on Friday night when they travel to face the Ottawa Senators at 7:30 p.m.
- WSH Brendan Leipsic (2) (John Carlson, Nic Dowd) 6:13
- No Scoring
- PHI Claude Giroux (5) PP (Jake Voracek, Ivan Provorov) 6:38
- No Scoring
- PHI Jake Voracek - Miss
- WSH T.J. Oshie - Goal
- PHI Claude Giroux - Goal
- WSH Evgeny Kuznetsov - Goal
- PHI Sean Couturier - Save