Capitals Jump Out to Early Lead, Down Flyers

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Flyers second meeting on home ice against the Capitals in a little more than a week started much like the first did. Washington took the early lead.

For a time in the second, the Flyers had a 2-0 margin back to one, but Washington quickly served up a reminder why they are reigning Stanley Cup champions and the Metropolitan Division leaders. Two goals in 65 seconds put Washington in control in a 5-2 win against the Flyers on Thursday night at Wells Fargo Center.

Just like their previous trip to Philadelphia, it didn't take long for Washington to jump out to the lead. On a delayed penalty call, Michal Kempny froze the Flyers by pumping for the shot. He passed down low to a wide open Brett Connolly on the doorstep and he scored easily from there to make it 1-0 Capitals just 2:53 into the game.

Washington just kept coming and got another third-line goal at 9:30. Following a turnover by Travis Sanheim, the Capitals went to work and Lars Eller was able to get in alone. His first chance was stopped by Carter Hart, but he picked up his own rebound to make it 2-0.

The Flyers got a late power play with one minute left in the period, but were not able to do anything with the first 60 seconds of the man advantage. Through 20 minutes, shots were 11-5 Washington.

The Flyers were not able to score in the first minute of the second, but three seconds after the penalty expired, they cashed in. Washington got a shorthanded two-on-one after a shot by Shayne Gostisbehere hit Sanheim. Gostisbehere was the lone defenseman back and broke up the pass attempt to nullify the shorthanded bid. He got the puck to James van Riemsdyk, who went into the offensive zone and fired a shot that beat Braden Holtby to cut the lead to one.

In a matter of 65 seconds, Washington not only regained the two-goal lead, but extended it to three.

Off a failed keep by Phil Myers, Connolly was headed the other way on a rush with help coming. Connolly kept it himself and lifted a shot over the shoulder of Hart to make it 3-1.

Just 65 seconds later, Hart overcommitted on a fake shot by Evgeny Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov was able to center the puck back in front for Tom Wilson with a wide open net and he scored to make it 4-1.

The Flyers did get a bounce to go their way less than three minutes later to get the margin back to two. Robert Hagg put a shot toward the net that bounced to Scott Laughton. Laughton couldn't control, but Ryan Hartman was able to settle the puck and set up Laughton for the goal.

The Capitals outshot the Flyers, 14-8, in the second period for a 40-minute advantage of 25-14.

The Flyers finished off a successful penalty kill in the first minute of the third, then killed off 36 seconds of another Washington power play before drawing a penalty of their own. The abbreviated, 36-second power play was the first of three straight the Flyers would have in the third.

There was some good pressure on the second power play, but not much else as Washington locked things down.

With an empty net in the final three minutes, Kuznetsov scored to ice the game.

Holtby finished with 22 saves on 24 shots. Hart made 27 saves on 31 shots faced.

The Flyers get back on the ice on Friday night with a trip to Toronto to face the Maple Leafs at 7 p.m.

Box Score

  1 2 3 T
Capitals 2 2 1 5
Flyers 0 2 0 2

Scoring Summary

1st Period

  • WSH Brett Connolly (18) (Michal Kempny, John Carlson) 2:53
  • WSH Lars Eller (11) (Connolly, Carl Hagelin) 9:30

2nd Period

  • PHI James van Riemsdyk (21) (Shayne Gostisbehere) 1:03
  • WSH Connolly (19) (Unassisted) 8:43
  • WSH Tom Wilson (20) (Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dmitry Orlov) 9:48
  • PHI Scott Laughton (12) (Ryan Hartman, Robert Hagg) 12:22

3rd Period

  • WSH Kuznetsov (18) EN (Alex Ovechkin, Kempny) 17:34

Game Statistics

  Capitals Flyers
Shots 32 24
Power Plays 0/3 0/4
Hits 22 25
Faceoff % 46.2% 53.8%
Giveaways 10 13
Takeaways 7 10
Blocked Shots 21 10
Penalty Minutes 8 6


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