Capitals Hang On, Defeat Flyers, 5-3; John Carlson Earns 500th Career Point

Photo: Drew Hallowell/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. The win lifted the Capitals two points behind the New York Islanders for first place in the East Division with a game in hand. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves in the victory.

Capitals’ Lines at Flyers

Photo: @Capitals

Center Lars Eller came out of the lineup due to a family manner and the Capitals dressed seven defensemen against the Flyers as Jonas Siegenthaler played for the first time in 14 games. Forward Tom Wilson served the third game of his seven-game suspension for boarding.

First Period

Captain Alex Ovechkin hammered a slapped to the left post after a turnover by Flyers goaltender Brian Elliott went right to him off of the boards to make it 1-0 Capitals 8:37 into the game.

Center Travis Konecny beat Samsonov to the blocker-side from the slot after center Kevin Hayes hit the post and got his own rebound at the right dot to tie it on the power play at 11:14.

After forward Daniel Sprong sprained forward Conor Sheary on a breakaway with a backhand pass from the neutral zone, Sheary’s shot squeaked through the five-hole of Elliott to give the Capitals the lead back 1:56 later.

Forward Garnet Hathaway and forward Andy Andreoff dropped the gloves at center ice with 2:45 left in a bout that was broken up by the officials.

The Capitals led 12-8 in hits, 4-2 in blocked shots, had three giveaways while the Flyers had seven, and did not score on their lone power play of the first.

The Flyers led 11-10 in shots, 1-0 in takeaways, won 59% of the faceoffs, and scored on their only man-advantage through one.

Second Period

Defenseman John Carlson drilled a shot under the glove of Elliott from the left side after getting a backhand feed from the goal-line by forward Jakub Vrana and center Evgeny Kuznetsov hit Vrana up from the neutral zone to give the Capitals a 3-1 lead 6:58 into the second. The point was the 500th of Carlson’s career. He became the third-fastest active defenseman to hit that mark (783 games) behind Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks (613) and Kris Letang of the Pittsburgh Penguins (753).

Center Nic Dowd drove to the net, powered past Flyers defenseman Travis Sanheim, and put the puck off of Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere and past Elliott in the crease to make it 4-1 at 17:33.

Play was suspended with 1:29 left in the period and the third frame extended by that amount of time after defenseman Zdeno Chara’s attempt to clear the zone cracked the glass between the Flyers’ bench and the regular glass.

The Capitals led 8-6 in blocked shots, had five giveaways while the Flyers had nine, and failed to score on two power plays through 40 minutes.

The Flyers led 19-15 in shots, including 8-5 in the second, 18-16 in hits, won 54% of the draws, and scored on their lone power play through two.

Each team recorded 18 hits, four takeaways, and five second-period shots in the game’s first two stanzas.

Third Period

Defenseman Ivan Provorov zipped a shot by the blocker of Samsonov after getting fed by center Sean Couturier from the right half-wall to cut the Capitals’ lead in half 1:43 into the third.

Forward Scott Laughton snapped one from the left dot and past the glove of Samsonov after receiving a pass down the middle by center Kevin Hayes and Konecny started the play from the right side to get the Flyers within one with 9:15 left.

Dowd added an empty-netter from deep in the defensive zone to make it 5-3 with 24 seconds left.

The Capitals led 8-6 in blocked shots, 25-24 in hits, had six giveaways while the Flyers had 13, and failed to score on two power plays.

The Flyers led 32-22 in shots, including 13-7 in the third, 6-5 in takeaways, 18-16 in hits, won 55% of the draws, and scored on their two of three power plays.

Each team recorded eight blocked shots.

The Capitals face the Flyers in Philadelphia again on Saturday night. Action from Wells Fargo Center can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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