Flyers Crush Capitals 7-2 in Matt Niskanen’s Return to D.C.; Martin Fehervary Picks Up First NHL Point


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The Washington Capitals fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 7-2 Saturday night at Capital One Arena, in a game in which the team welcomed back former defenseman Matt Niskanen


Braden Holtby (20-10-0-4, 3.08 GAA, .897 sv%) started between the pipes for Washington. Brian Elliott (13-6-0-4, 2.89 GAA, .900 sv%) got the start in goal for visiting Flyers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Martin Fehervary was recalled by the Capitals from AHL Hershey on Saturday morning.

Scratches: Travis Boyd, Nick Jensen

The Flyers opened the scoring with a power play goal from Sean Couturier (14) at 15:22 of the first period.

The Capitals would tie the game with a power play goal from T.J. Oshie (20) at 18:18 of the first frame. Kakub Vrana (23) and Nicklas Backstrom (32) had the helpers.

The first period would conclude with the game tied 1-1. The Capitals led in shots on goal 11-9 and 18-13 in shot attempts. Both teams were 1 for 1 on the power play.

The Flyers would strike quickly for three goals to start the second period. Michael Raffl would score just 2:45 into the middle period.

Sean Couturier would score his second goal of the game at 2:59 of the second period.

James van Riemsdyk (15) would make it 4-1 at 4:30 of the second period, less than two minutes later.

The Caps would squander another power play opportunity just a short while later. With 8:05 left in the frame, and both teams playing 4-on-4 hockey, the Capitals received another power play opportunity. Once again, the team was unable to edge closer with the man-advantage. With 4:02 left in the frame, Richard Panik took a slashing penalty from Travis Sanheim on a nifty move in alone on Brian Elliott to give the home team their fourth power play of the night. Like two of their prior three attempts, the Caps were unable to score with a man-advantage.

With 6.4 seconds left in the frame, Panik took a hooking penalty to give the visitors a late period power play. The period ended with the Flyers having 1:54 left on their man-advantage and a 4-1 lead on the scoreboard and the Caps up 20-17 in shots.

The Capitals would hold the Flyers’ power play to no shots to start the final period. The Flyers, however, would strike just moments later after scoring on a turnover from Michal Kempny. Nicolas Aube-Kubel notched his third of the season to push the visitors’ lead to 5-1.

Travis Konecny would score just seconds after the expiration of the man-advantage to give the Flyers a strangling 6-1 lead over the Caps. The Capitals’ Tom Wilson would be called for an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty with just under 14 minutes left on the clock. With 1:17 remaining on the man-advantage, Garnet Hathaway was called for cross-checking. Claude Giroux would make it a seven-spot with 11:58 remaining.

With 7:43 left in the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored five-hole on Elliott, on assists from Oshie and recent call-up Martin Fehervary, who picked up his first NHL point.

Neither team would dent the twine again, and the game ended with the final 7-2 score.

The Caps are next in action on February 10 against the New York Islanders.


  • Former Washington Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen made his first appearance at Capital One Arena since being traded to the Flyers last summer.
  • T.J. Oshie reached the 20-goal plateau for the fifth time with his first period power play marker.


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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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13 Responses to Flyers Crush Capitals 7-2 in Matt Niskanen’s Return to D.C.; Martin Fehervary Picks Up First NHL Point

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    PIT, BOS, PHI, TBL, TOR, CBJ, STL, COL, DAL and VGK are all superior hockey clubs to the Washington Capitals. Caps are dead meat against any of those ten team in a playoff situation. CAR, NYI and FLA will kick the Caps’ behinds in a playoff series too. Caps are the most undisciplined and unmotivated team in the NHL. Baldy’s Caps specialize in turnovers, lazy penalties, poor game preparation, and just plain incompetence. They can’t win a faceoff for all the bratwursts in Wisconsin. They LOOK demoralized. It’s a leadership problem.

    Take away Ovechkin heroics Sammy’s red-hot start and the Caps are ten points out of the playoff race. At this point in February in the 2017-18 season, Trotz’s Caps had already turned the corner and were playing solid, two-way playoff hockey.

    And for all you Nick Jensen haters out there in comment-land: We all can see just how SORRY-ARSED the Caps defense is without him.

    Three months ago I was just venting. Now it’s disgustingly obvious: $500/hr Future Hall of Famer Washington Capitals Head Coach Todd Reirden is a disaster. Kiss the Caps 2019-2020 season good-bye.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      On the teams you listed that are better than the Caps. STL has been doing EVEN worse, as in just ONE lousy win since the All Star Break. Carolina has also been doing poorly these days. They’re the one and only team the Blues have beaten since the break.

      Your point is still valid on the Caps would not do well in the playoffs, given how they’ve played as of late.

  2. Marky says:

    Well that sucked!

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Seems to me at quick glance, the team has been wobbling since all star break, maybe a few games before.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Who sits the next game?

  5. Diane Doyle says:

    I figure Holtby should have been pulled after the Flyers 4th goal, as a momentum changer, if nothing else.

  6. Day One Caps Fan says:

    The Caps current coaching conundrum frighteningly reminds me of the “Lefty Driesell Phenomenon” of about forty years ago.

    Those of us DC suburbanites who had the misfortune of rooting for the University of Maryland Basketball program in the 1970s, when the Head Coach was the infamous Charles “Lefty” Driesell, we “just knew.” Lefty was a master at showmanship and a fair judge of basketball talent of his day. But Lefty lacked “command presence” and that intangible ability to get optimum and successful return out of his players. Year after year the Terps would enter either the NCAA or the NIT Tournaments (after underachieving in the ACC Tournament) and fall flat on their faces, never making it past the Second Round. Routinely he was brutally out-coached by his ACC peers, especially the redoubtable Dean Smith of North Carolina University fame. We would watch Lefty’s terps and groan – knowing instinctively that no matter how lovable or talented our Terps might be, they had NO PRAYER of succeeding with Lefty in charge. Ultimately Lefty was removed and years later the more sanguine, street-smart and FEARED head coach Gary Williams took over the team … and the “rest is history”.

    The Washington Capitals high-echelon management team is faced with its “Lefty Driesell Moment” with current Head Coach Reirden. Coach Reirden is a nice guy and a good “X’s and O’s” technician. He even has lots of hockey play under his belt as a defenseman. He spent the summer consulting other sports’ Head Coaches, trying to get the scoop on “how to coach superstars.” But the Caps have NO PRAYER whatsoever of succeeding in a playoff venue with this coach. No prayer. GM Brian MacLellan is in a tough spot here because the Caps have reached nearly the three-quarter-season point with this guy … and he’s not panning out. What can GMBM do? There are Championship-caliber coaches available out there. LaViolette, Babcock, even Hitchcock are sitting on the sidelines watching the various NHL circus teams plummet in the standings. The Caps are the worst because they have obvious Championship talent. This is painful.

  7. James Lewis says:

    The Caps really, really needed to get pounded. They’ve been playing mediocre hockey for a month now – winning more games than they deserved to – and all anybody wants to talk about is Ovi’s march toward 700 goals. I sincerely hope that it’s just the media that is all enthralled to Ovechkin. Because this team is seriously underachieving – even if Ovi scores 50.

    Is it coaching?????

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