The Capitals started strong in this one, but floundered a bit in the final frame. In the end, the Capitals would secure a 5-3 victory against the struggling Flyers. The Capitals now hit the road for a quick one-game trip to meet the Bruins in Boston on Thursday. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM.
The Caps struck quickly with a goal from Tom Wilson, but the Flyers would answer midway through the opening frame for a 1-1 tie at the first intermission. The Capitals would add tallies from T.J. Oshie and Jakub Vrana and add a power play goal from Jakub Vrana for 4-1 lead at the second intermission. The Flyers would add two late goals, but T.J. Oshie would add an empty net goal late to seal the 5-3 victory for the Caps.
Nicklas Backstrom was a scratch due to illness. As a result, all centers moved up one line with Nic Dowd returning to 4th line center. Pheonix Copley got the start between the pipes for the Caps. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Nicklas Backstrom (Illness), Madison Bowey and Dmitrij Jaskin.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (POSSESSION)
The Capitals had just two shots on goal in the first 10 minutes of play, but were tied 1-1 at the end of the opening frame. For the first period, the Flyers led in shot attempts 20-8 and 11-4 in shots on goal (SOG) after 20 minutes of play. The Capitals flipped the script in the second period, out-attempting the Flyers 19-14 and led in SOG 13-12, and took a 4-1 lead.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (DIFFERENTIAL)
SHOT ATTEMPTS (LOCATION)
Pheonix Copley was very strong for most of the game, but softened late in the game. In the end, Copley stopped 37 of 40 for a .925 save percentage. Flyers starter McKenna stopped 20 of 24 for an .833 save percentage.
Entering the game, the Capitals power play was shutout nine of the last 10 games (12% of season) and was 1 for its last 30 opportunities. Since December 1, the Capitals power play was ranked 28th in the league with a 10.4% success rate. For the season, the Flyers penalty kill was ranked 28th in the league with a 75.2% success rate.
The Capitals would break their scoreless power play drought in the second period with a goal from Jakub Vrana, his second of the game. For the game, the Capitals went 1 for 4 and the Flyers went 0 for 5 on the power play. Baby steps.
Tonight’s tilt featured the team with the leafue’s best faceoff winning percentage, Philadelphia (56.4%) versus the team with the league’s worst faceoff winning percentage, Washington (47.0%).
For the game, the faceoff battle unfolded as expected. The Flyers won the battle at the dot 70-30% (45 of 64). Brett Connolly was 1 for 1, Chandler Stephenson was 2 for 4, Lars Eller was 8 for 19, Devante Smith-Pelly was 1 for 1, Nic Dowd was 2 for 6, Travis Boyd was 2 for 13, T.J. Oshie was 2 for 6 and Evgeny Kuznetsov was 1 for 14.
- Jakub Vrana scored his second goal of the game, setting a new single season in goals (14). It marks his third career two goal game and his first career three point game (2g, 1a).
- With the empty net goal, T.J. Oshie reaches the 200 career goal mark.
- John Carlson had two assists tonight, his 11th multi-assist game this season, which ranks first among defenseman and tied for fifth among all NHL players.
- Wilson missed 19 games this season. At his current scoring rate, he’s currently on a 46 goal pace over the course of a full 82 game season.
Pingback: Thursday Evening Clash: Washington at Boston Preview | NoVa Caps