The Philadelphia Flyers came in to Washington on this Super Bowl Sunday as a team that was hungry. They lost 3-2 in a shoot out to their division rival, the New York Rangers the previous afternoon.
The Capitals found themselves on the penalty kill a mere 2 minutes 10 seconds into the game, as Karl Alzner took a penalty for hooking against Michael Raffl. Then, approximately the same amount of time later, Alzner took another penalty for interfering with Radko Gudas. Fortunately for Caps, both of Alzner’s infractions would come without damage. The Capitals went on the power play when Ryan White slashed Dmitry Orlov. Unfortunately, the Capitals yet again could not convert on the power play. This inability to do so had the Caps at a streak of 0 for 16 with the man advantage.
This would come back to haunt the Capitals, as the Flyers struck first with the game’s first goal, scored by Michael Del Zotto, with assists coming from Shayne Gostisbehere (which extended his 8 game point streak) and Nick Cousins.
The first period ended with the Flyers on top 1-0, with shots on goal favoring the Flyers 14-7.
The second period began with the Capitals on the power play at the 2:47 mark, with Ryan White going to the box after cross checking Michael Latta. The Capitals still could not convert on this man advantage, running the streak of scoreless power plays to 17 straight without a goal.
An interference penalty on Tom Wilson at 10:13 sent the Capitals to the penalty kill, and in the midst of the penalty kill, the Capitals attempted to clear, which lead to a too many men on the ice penalty, which was served by Ovechkin at 11.20. The Capitals were successful in killing off both penalties, with Holtby making solid saves as the Flyers had chances. Trotz would later state that this was the turning point in the game.
At the 15:56 mark, the Capitals finally get on the board with a tally from Ovechkin (his 30th of the season) with an assist from Alzner,
and a mere 1:09 later, at 17:05 Orlov put the Capitals ahead with his 5th Goal of the season, with assists coming from Burakovsky (which extended his points streak to 7 games) and Kuznetsov.
The second period ended with the Capitals on top 2-1, with shots on goal favoring the Capitals 14-8.
The Capitals began the third period still short-handed, as Niskanen was still in the box for the trip of Simmonds. The Capitals were able to kill the penalty. However, the Flyers scored on 5-on-5 play a mere 51 seconds into the period with a goal from Nick Schultz (his first of the season), with an assist that came from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare.
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At 5:24, Matt Niskanen broke the tie with his 3rd goal of the season, on an eye-popping drive to the net, unassisted.
Jason Chimera attempted to add the icing on the cake at the 17:22 mark, with a cross-ice, empty-netter that clanked off the post. There were a few tense moments at end of the period, with two redraws in the defensive zone, however, the Capitals would eventually hold-on and skate away with the 3-2 win over the Philadelphia Flyers.
By Andrea Sobolik