Capitals Fly Past Flyers, 9-2, For Fourth Straight Victory; Sheary, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Eller, Mantha, Irwin, Larsson Each Tally Two Points, Schultz Three

Photo: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 9-2 at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night for their fourth straight win. They drew within two points of the Pittsburgh Penguins for third place in the Metropolitan Division with two games in hand. They are three games behind the Boston Bruins for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, with each team down to nine games remaining in the regular season. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 19 saves in the win.

Capitals’ Lines vs. Flyers

Graphic: @Capitals

Center Nicklas Backstrom returned after sitting out of the Capitals’ 4-2 victory over the Bruins on Sunday due to maintenance while Connor McMichael came out. Defenseman Matt Irwin drew in with Dmitry Orlov out.

Scratched: McMichael, LW Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, LHD Michal Kempny, LHD Matt Irwin

Injured: Orlov (lower-body, first, day-to-day), LW Carl Hagelin (eye, missed 17th straight game, out indefinitely); LW Joe Snively (upper-body, 15th, week-to-week)

First Period

After center Evgeny Kuznetsov fed left-wing Conor Sheary entering the offensive zone, Sheary held onto the puck for a moment before feeding captain Alex Ovechkin, who was stopped from the left dot before backhanding one past goaltender Carter Hart from below the goal-line to open the scoring for the Capitals 6:01 in with his 46th of the season. Ovechkin, who has 14 goals in his last 18 games, tied Jaromir Jagr for second with his 131st career ice-breaker. Sheary has an assist in three straight games and 37 points this season (16 goals).

Right-wing T.J. Oshie slammed in defenseman John Carlson’s pass from the top in front with nothing but net to shoot at to make it 2-0 at 12:24. Carlson became the 17th defenseman in NHL history with four 50-assist seasons in his career and Erik Karlsson of the San Jose Sharks (five) is the only active blue liner to do so more times than him.

After getting a lucky bounce in the defensive zone and slashed by defenseman Justin Schultz, left-wing James Van Riemsdyk skated in on a breakaway, opened the five-hole of Samsonov, and cut the Capitals’ lead in half 36 seconds after Oshie’s goal.

Defenseman Martin Fehervary deked around Flyers defenseman Ronnie Attard at the left dot and backhanded a shot through the five-hole of Hart down low following getting a pass from center Nic Dowd at the top to restore the Capitals’ two-goal lead 1:16 later. The goal was Fehervary’s eighth of the season and his third goal in his last four games. The 21-year-old is the sixth rookie defenseman in franchise history to score eight goals in a season. The Capitals have scored at least three goals in the first period six times this season, two of which have occurred in the Capitals’ last four games (three in 4-3 win over Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday).

The Capitals led 10-8 in shots, 7-0 in takeaways, 5-4 in blocked shots, 8-6 in hits, and won 58% of the draws through 20 minutes.

Each team earned two giveaways and did not score on their lone power plays of the first.

Second Period

Right-wing Cam Atkinson and Hart did not return because of lower-body injuries. Martin Jones started the second in goal for the Flyers.

After left-wing Anthony Mantha laid a crisp feed from the top to center Lars Eller at the left dot, the 32-year-old put one high blocker on Jones to extend the Capitals’ lead to three 6:39 into the period. Eller has two goals and three points in his last two games. Right-wing Tom Wilson is currently on a three-game point-streak (two goals, four points).

Sheary got the puck down low all alone, deked, got Jones down, and beat him to the left pad after Kuznetsov found him from the top to make it 5-1 with 4:30 to go in the second.

The Capitals led 24-16 in shots (including 14-8 in the period), 9-3 in takeaways, and 15-14 in hits in the first two.

The Flyers led 9-8 in blocked shots and tallied four giveaways while the Capitals earned five through 40 minutes.

The teams split the battle at the faceoff dot and did not score on their lone power play of the opening two periods.

Third Period

Irwin bombed one from out high through a maze of skates and beat Jones to the low left pad for his first goal as a Capital to make it 6-1 3:31 into the third.

Eller ripped a shot from the slot after Mantha fed him from the left half-wall for his second goal of the game to open up a six-goal lead at 5:59. With the secondary assist, defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk earned his career-best 14th helper of the season.

Schultz flinged a wrister from the point and right-wing Garnet Hathaway tipped it as the shot appeared to be going wide of the goal to give the Capitals an 8-1 lead with 7:18 remaining. The goal was Hathaway’s 12th of the season, a new career-high. Schultz recorded the primary assist on the goal, his second primary assist of the game. It marked Schultz’s 30th career multi-assist game. Irwin earned his 10th career multi-point game with the secondary assist.

Flyers center Kevin Hayes’ shot from the dot went off of Van Riemsdyk’s skate right to his brother in front and he tipped it into an open net in front to get Philadelphia their second goal of the game with 4:34 left.

With 2:28 to go, center Johan Larsson tipped Schultz’s feed from the right dot into a wide open net in front for his first goal as a Capital to make it 9-2. Schultz recorded his third primary assist of the game on Larsson’s goal. It marks Schultz’s fourth career game with at least three assists.

The Capitals’ nine goals against Philadelphia is a single-game season high. During their winning streak, which began on Wednesday, the Capitals have outscored its opponents 23-10. Sixteen of the Capitals’ 18 skaters recorded a point on Tuesday. It marks the fifth instance in franchise history the Capitals have had 16 players record a point in the same game (most recently: Jan. 9, 2010 vs. the Atlanta Thrashers).

The Capitals led 37-21 in shots (including 13-6 in the period), 12-5 in takeaways, 15-13 in blocked shots, won 57% of the faceoffs, and scored once on four power plays.

The Flyers led 22-17 in hits, tallied seven giveaways while the Capitals earned eight, and scored once on three opportunities on the man advantage.

Next game: Thursday at Toronto Maple Leafs (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)

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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2 Responses to Capitals Fly Past Flyers, 9-2, For Fourth Straight Victory; Sheary, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Eller, Mantha, Irwin, Larsson Each Tally Two Points, Schultz Three

  1. Anonymous says:

    Woohoo! That is four games in a row where the team played to their potential. The resting players during the season just might pay off.

  2. Anonymous says:

    That’s quite the drubbing.

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