Capitals Overcome Flyers 5-4

Published on March 23rd, 2011

by Mike del Tufo

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
The Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 in a shoot-out.  This was the 4th of 4 meetings between the Flyers and the Capitals this season with each of them going to at least overtime.  In the first 3 games, the Flyers won once in OT, once in a shoot-out, and the Caps won once in OT.  For this game, Michal Neuvirth started in net for the Capitals and Sergei Bobrovsky for the Flyers.  Each team missed top players as the Caps went without superstar Alexander Ovechkin and defenseman Mike Green and the Flyers missed defenseman Chris Pronger.

Flyers forward combinations:
Briere-Leino-Hartnell
Carter-Giroux-Nodl
Richards-Versteeg- JVR
Betts-Powe- Carcillo

Flyers defensemen pairings:
Timonen-Coburn
Boynton-Carle
Meszaros-O’Donnell

The Flyers had a 2-on-1 thirty seconds into the game but were unable to convert.  At 7:52 of the 1st period, Caps forward Nicklas Backstrom snapped one at the net and it slipped past Bob to make it 1-0.  Bob may have been partially screened by his own defenseman Kimmo Timonen but it was still an ugly goal.  At 9:40 Caps forward Alexander Semin took a double-minor for high-sticking clipping Claude Giroux in the face giving the Flyers a prime opportunity to tie the score.  They were unable to capitalize on this extended power-play however.  The Caps gained some momentum from this solid kill.  At 17:46, former Flyers forward Mike Knuble gave the Caps a 2-0 lead when he banged in a nice pass from winger Jason Chimera who was behind the net.  Flyers defenseman Sean O’Donnell stumbled on the play allowing Knuble to get a step on him to the net.  It was his 20th goal of the season.  It was a disappointing period for the Flyers who outshot the Caps 10 to 7 but trailed by two goals.  Bob looked shaky. 

Bob was pulled at 1:22 of the 2nd period after giving up another weak goal.  Caps defenseman Dennis Wideman scored this one while on the power-play.  Bob allowed 3 goals on 9 shots.  Brian Boucher took over in net for the Flyers.  The Flyers finally responded at 8:05 when a pass by forward Kris Versteeg ricocheted off of Wideman’s skate and into the net.  The Flyers seized control for the next 5 minutes after this peppering Neuvirth with shots but with no success.  Then at 19:26, Flyers forward Andreas Nodl faked a shot and found a wide-open Giroux who pounded it in to make it 3-2. 

Flyers captain Mike Richards went in alone on Neuvirth at 5:30 of the 3rd period but was stopped.  At around 9:10, Flyers defenseman Andrej Meszaros rocked Chimera with a crushing hit to ignite the crowd.   The Flyers fed off of this.  A Caps turnover then found Nodl at the right of the net at 9:58 and he buried it to tie the game.  It was Nodl’s 1st goal in 5 weeks.  At 14:15, Danny Briere then tipped in a wide shot to shockingly give the Flyers a 4-3 lead.  Just when it seemed like the Flyers had completed an unbelievable come-back victory Caps center Marcus Johansson fired a shot past Boosh at 16:41 to knot the game at 4. 

The teams would go to overtime when each of the teams had a number of scoring chances in a very wide-open extra session.  No one scored however which led to the shoot-out. 

The Flyers went first with Ville Leino, and he wristed it in.  The Caps countered with Matt Hendricks who backhanded it into the net.  Giroux was next up and he was stopped by Neuvirth.  Backstrom then put the Caps up 2-1 in the shoot-out snapping it past Boosh.  Briere skated onto the ice hoping to keep the Flyers’ hopes alive and he swooped in and backhanded it in.  Semin went last for the Caps and his back-hander sealed the shoot-out and the victory in the Caps’ favor.

On the loss, Briere said, “Overall I thought it was a solid effort from our team.  There are going to be nights where you get some bad bounces on our goalie, and you get a couple of bad bounces on them.  Overall I thought that was the type of game that we need to play and that we want to play, putting pressure on their defensemen and cycling them, and creating chances off of that.  We did a really good job all night long.”

Giroux agreed, “I think, by far, it’s been our best game in months. I thought the guys worked hard.  It was a fun game to play.  It was a playoff atmosphere. Anytime you get a game like that, it’s a good test to see where your team is at.  I think we are pretty happy with the way we played.”

Their next game is at home vs. the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday March 24th.

Danny Briere

Comments

  1. Posted by Jim on March 23rd, 2011, 16:17

    Now that looked like playoff hockey!