Capitals’ Third-Period Rally Falls Short In 5-3 Loss At Philadelphia; Backstrom Gets First Point Of The Season

Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 5-3 at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday. They remain a point behind the New York Rangers (who have two games in hand) for third place in the Metropolitan Division and four points up on the Pittsburgh Penguins (four) for the first wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Washington’s franchise-record seven-game winning streak on the road came to a halt. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 31 saves in the loss.

Capitals’ Lines at Philadelphia

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Sonny Milano
Lars Eller — Nicklas Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Conor Sheary — Dylan Strome — Tom Wilson
Marcus Johansson — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Alexander Alexeyev — Martin Fehervary

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: LW Anthony Mantha, D Matt Irwin, LW Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Injured: D John Carlson (upper-body, missed eighth straight game, out indefinitely); RW Connor Brown (ACL, 40th, indefinite); LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 44th, indefinite)

Alexeyev drew in for Irwin after Washington’s 1-0 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday. The team shook up their top three forward lines from Sunday’s win. Mantha was scratched for the second straight tilt. Van Riemsdyk skated in his 500th career NHL game.

Philadelphia’s Lines

James Van Riemsdyk — Morgan Frost — Owen Tippett
Joel Farabee — Noah Cates — Travis Konecny
Kevin Hayes — Scott Laughton — Wade Allison
Nicolas Deslauriers — Patrick Brown — Zack MacEwen

Ivan Provorov — Cam York
Travis Sanheim — Tony DeAngelo
Nick Seeler — Rasmus Ristolainen

Carter Hart
Samuel Ersson

Scratched: D Justin Braun, LW Kieffer Bellows

Injured: C Sean Couturier (back, 42nd, indefinite); C Tanner Laczynski (upper-body, 16th, week-to-week)


First Period

Scoring

7:26, 1-0 Philadelphia (PPG): Laughton wristed one blocker-side on Kuemper through a screen from the top after catching a pass by DeAngelo, who shimmied down the right, and deking his way to the top.

19:07, 1-1: After Dowd chipped the puck off of the boards, Jensen raced to it along the half-wall, fought off Sanheim right behind him, passed it to the back door, and Hathaway buried it at the left post. The goal marked the eighth one that the Capitals have scored in the final minute of a period this season. Dowd has recorded five points (two goals) in his last five games. Jensen set a new career-high with his 18th assist of the campaign (in just 44 games), 11 of which have been primary helpers.

19:28, 2-1 Philadelphia: Konecny one-timed a feed by Farabee, who was behind the net, in front past the glove of Kuemper after Jensen and Orlov were both guarding Konecny, who has 10 goals and 18 points over a 10-game point-streak.

Shots: 15-10 Philadelphia

Other Notable Stats: Washington led 17-10 in hits but Philadelphia won 64% of the draws and scored once on two power plays.


Second Period

Scoring

None

Shots: 27-18 Philadelphia (including 12-8 in the second)

Other Notable Stats: Washington led 25-21 in hits but Philadelphia, who had three power plays, led 11-7 in blocked shots and had three giveaways while Washington tallied eight.


Third Period

Scoring

5:31, 3-1: Tippet got a pass off the boards, revved into the zone, and ripped one through Alexeyev after a quick curl-and-drag from the right slot.

8:28, 4-1 (SHG): After Provorov poked the puck away from Backstrom at the half-wall, Laughton broke out for a two-on-one, passed the puck across, and Konecny wristed one through the wickets of Kuemper. It marked Philadelphia’s league-leading eighth shorthanded goal of the season.

9:18, 4-2: Following a turnover by Provorov in the defensive zone, Johansson picked the puck up and wristed one glove-side on Hart.

14:42, 4-3: Oshie switched from his forehand to his backhand and put the puck behind Hart with him down after Backstrom, who earned his first point in his second game of the season, fed him in the slot from the left dot.

19:48, 5-3 (ENG): Konecny skated in and put one into a wide open net to finish off the hat-trick after Laughton sent him into the offensive zone.


Recap

Shots: 36-29 Philadelphia (11-9 Washington in the third)

Other Notable Stats: Philadelphia won 56% of the draws and finished with two goals on six power plays. They also led 16-7 in blocked shots, 29-28 in hits, and had four giveaways while Washington, was on the hook for nine.

Next game: Saturday vs. Philadelphia (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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16 Responses to Capitals’ Third-Period Rally Falls Short In 5-3 Loss At Philadelphia; Backstrom Gets First Point Of The Season

  1. Anonymous says:

    This team is officially in a funk. How long does it last?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I bet Mantha plays Saturday.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

    Not sure we will see the Sheary-Strome-Wilson line again anytime soon:

    • Anonymous says:

      Maybe unpopular opinion, but I’d like to try Strome, Ovi and Tom as a line instead. Dylan and Ovi had some good chemistry and underlying stats earlier this season and Tom should be a good space creating force for them.

      Same with Kuzy and Milano, maybe see if they can build some Chemistry with Mantha or Sheary.

      Nicky and Oshie are a nice start for a third line with whoever you want to rotate in.

      They looked much more cohesive in the third which was encouraging. Just try not to overpass it so much.

      • hockeydruid says:

        Like the idea of an Ovie, Strom, Wilson line. Your 2nd line is also good with Sheary there. For the 3rd like Mantha, Nicky and Oshie. And on the 4th lime Johansson, Dowd and Hathaway. IF Eller plays it has to be as a C as he does not have the D-strength to his game to play a wing.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Back to ovi-strome-sheary; Milano-kuzy-Wilson; eller-backy-oshie; mojo-dowd-hath

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

    • hockeydruid says:

      Did you see the grin on Torts face as the game was ending…..almost like ok you got 2 empties last time and we got one back! Expect just as hard a game on Sat night.

  6. Mark Eiben says:

    I was actually surprised that I was liking the Eller-Backstrom-Oshie line. I thought they played very well and yes that ‘3rd line’ was no good. We need some top line Tom I think. Caps look like they are chasing and out of sink. This could be the new year funk and that would be sad because of the lighter schedule that should be to your advantage.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Or like last year they were going good and sent out all the young forwards when the dinosaurs came back and they got boring and slow. Deja vu.

  8. Mark Eiben says:

    You mean 2 goal NAK, 3 goal Protas or 0 goal Snively?

    • Anonymous says:

      Do you prefer Decembers results or Januarys so far? Yes Protas, yes Beck and yes Mantha. No Eller. No Mojo.

      • Mark Eiben says:

        You are discounting the fact that all teams have dips a few times during a season. I have noticed the Caps always have one this time of year and just plugging in young forwards to replace Eller and Mojo won’t fix that.

  9. KimRB says:

    This, and the Buffalo game, are why I don’t like the makeup of this team very much. Younger, faster teams give them fits. It’s like I said before Thanksgiving, enjoy Ovi’s goal chase, a mediocre team, and first round exit……if we get to the playoffs

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