Capitals Stun Flyers, 5-3, With Three Goals In Final Three Minutes; Snively Gets Fourth Goal In As Many Games, Hathaway Strikes Twice

Photo: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center on Thursday night. The victory kept the Capitals one point back of the New York Rangers (who have three games in hand) for third in the Metropolitan Division, three behind the Carolina Hurricanes (five) for second, and five behind the Pittsburgh Penguins (one) for first. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 30 saves in the win, his seventh straight appearance.

Capitals’ Lines at Flyers

Graphic: @Capitals

Right-wing Tom Wilson and left-wing Conor Sheary switched spots in the top-six following Tuesday’s 4-1 win at the Nashville Predators. Right-wing Brett Leason replaced Daniel Sprong in the lineup while defenseman Michal Kempny replaced Justin Schultz.

Scratched: Sprong, LHD Matt Irwin

Injured: Schultz (upper-body, missed first game, day-to-day); G Vitek Vanecek (upper-body, sixth, day-to-day); RW T.J. Oshie (lower-body, 14th, week-to-week); LW Anthony Mantha (shoulder, 42nd, indefinite)

First Period

Kempny blasted a shot past the blocker of Flyers goaltender Martin Jones from up top through a screen after center Nic Dowd fed him from the half-wall to open the scoring for the Capitals, who have struck in 14 of their last 16 periods of hockey, with 1:25 left. The Capitals have scored the game’s first goal an NHL-leading 35 times this season and hold a record of 21-9-4 when they score the first goal. It marked Kempny’s first goal since October 25, 2019, when he earned two in a 6-5 shootout win at the Vancouver Canucks.

The Capitals won 54% of the faceoffs in the first.

The Flyers led 11-8 in shots, 9-4 in hits, 6-3 in blocked shots, 1-0 in takeaways, and did not take advantage of one power play in the opening 20 minutes.

Each team recorded three giveaways in the period.

Second Period

Center Gerry Mayhew whipped one above the pads of Samsonov from the left dot to finish off a triangular tic-tac-toe passing play with left-wing Oskar Lindblom and left-wing Ian Ratcliffe on the power-play to tie it at 9:57.

Left-wing Joe Snively buried a second rebound from down low past the blocker of Jones with two players battling in front after defenseman Dmitry Orlov’s bomb from out high was thwarted with 7:11 to go. The 27-year-old has four goals in his past four games and seven points in nine games this season.

Defenseman Travis Sanheim finished a cross-ice feed by right-wing Travis Konecny at the post on a defensive zone to offensive zone rush to tie it with 58.4 seconds remaining in the period.

The Capitals had four giveaways while the Flyers were credited with six through 40 minutes.

The Flyers led 23-14 in shots (including 12-6 in the middle stanza), 3-1 in takeaways, 11-9 in blocked shots, 17-8 in hits, and won 51% of the draws in the first two.

Each team scored once on two power-play chances through two.

Third Period

Mayhew slammed a feed by Sanheim into a wide open cage in front after Sanheim dashed to the net to give the Flyers the lead with 3:51 left.

Defenseman John Carlson’s wrister from the point after a board battle was tipped in by right-wing Garnet Hathaway low glove side on Jones 54 seconds later to tie it again. That was the second game in a row the Capitals have scored a goal within a minute of an opponents goal. They had one such instance in the prior 50 games. Carlson has passed Brian Rafalski (536) for the 50th-most assists by a defenseman in NHL history.

Hathaway one-timed a pass by left-wing Carl Hagelin from below the goal line from the slot and went low glove after Hagelin stripped the puck from Provorov to give the Capitals the lead 1:45 later and with 1:12 left in regulation. Hathaway earned his first career three-point game. That was the second-fastest back-to-back goals by a Capital this season (captain Alex Ovechkin: 0:56 in a 4-3 win against Florida Panthers on November 26). Hagelin tallied two assists against the Flyers, marking his second multi-assist effort in his last five games. Hagelin has now recorded seven points (one goal) in his last seven games.

Carlson fired the puck off of the stanchion from the defensive zone and it went into the net to make it 5-3 23 seconds later. The goal was his his 10th of the season. That marks the seventh time Carlson, who has a goal and six points during a five-game point-steak, has reached the 10-goal mark in a season in his career and his fifth consecutively.

The Capitals led 11-10 in third-period shots, 15-14 in blocked shots, had six giveaways while the Flyers had seven, and scored once on three power plays.

The Flyers led 33-25 in shots, 4-2 in takeaways, 22-14 in hits, won 61% of the draws, and scored once on four power-play chances.

The Capitals have won five straight games in Philadelphia for the first time in franchise history. Head coach Peter Laviolette passed Mike Babcock (700 wins) for the ninth-most wins in NHL history.

The Capitals extended their season-long road win streak to five games and improve to 16-5-4 on the road this season. During the streak, which began Jan. 28, Washington has outscored opponents 23-9.

Samsonov has won four straight road games dating back to Feb. 1 at Pittsburgh. In those four games, Samsonov has posted a 2.03 goals against average and a .949 save percentage.

Next game: at Rangers on Thursday (7 PM ET, ESPN)

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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5 Responses to Capitals Stun Flyers, 5-3, With Three Goals In Final Three Minutes; Snively Gets Fourth Goal In As Many Games, Hathaway Strikes Twice

  1. Anonymous says:

    Great comeback, late in the game. It’s hard to recall when the last time the Capitals pulled one out in the last 5 most mutes of the game. It would have been an ugly break had they not responded.

  2. DC Scappeli says:

    Crazy game, ugly win, but hey—it’s 2 points, and like Al Davis said, “just win, baby”!

    I like seeing Snipely going to the net, or playing around there. Caps don’t do enough of it compared to other teams. Go to the net more, boys! Get those rebounds and greasy goals that Alan May keeps imploring you to do!

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Snipes has shown he can hang in the gritty areas. That’s a relatively recent development in his game (this season, including Hershey). Regardless he seems to understand what needs to be done. Excited for the kid.

      • DC Scappeli says:

        somebody needs to do that, establish a net presence! If it’s Snipes, so be it. But the Caps teams haven’t had a legit or consistent net player since Knuble and Dino Cicarelli (and that’s going back a ways with Dino!) Just go to the net and create chaos for their goalie, boys! 😁

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

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