GIF Rewind: Flyers’ energetic start fades in first game in front of fans
The Philadelphia Flyers couldn’t capitalize against Washington. In the second half of a back-to-back situation for them, the Flyers got beat by a rested Capitals team.
The final score of 3-1 is pretty accurate given how the game went, although the Flyers likely should’ve been able to score at least another goal.
It was the Flyers’ fourth game in six nights and the second half of a back-to-back. This game was going to be an uphill battle. The Flyers needed to capitalize on their early pressure and chances to score a few and go up by multiple goals in the first period. They couldn’t, the Capitals got their legs under them and took it to the Flyers.
The fans brought the energy early and the Flyers fed off of it. They were the much better team in the first period, particularly in the opening minutes.
The Capitals iced the puck twice in the first minute, and even when they entered the zone and got set up, the Flyers didn’t let them get a chance off. Nolan Patrick made a great diving play to block a John Carlson shot with his stick in the early going.
The Flyers had some new lines for this game and they were noticeable early on.
Oskar Lindblom had a particularly strong shift on the forecheck and in the offensive zone on the new fourth line with Connor Bunnaman and Nicolas Aube-Kubel. The new third line of Nolan Patrick, Claude Giroux, and Jakub Voracek also generated a few chances.
WATCH: Oskar Lindblom receives huge ovation in first game back in front of Flyers fans
The Flyers couldn’t bury any of their early chances, however. The first half of the period was dominated by them and they finally got on the board just past the halfway mark of the frame.
Sean Couturier got the puck to Joel Farabee on a two-on-one and the sophomore scored.
Farabee wanted the fans to get loud, and they did.
WATCH: Flyers fans get loud in first game back at Wells Fargo Center
It’s the 11th goal of the season for Farabee to take sole possession of the team lead in goals.
Unfortunately, it was all downhill from there.
The Capitals had some strong shifts later in the period and took some of that momentum into the second period. The Flyers led 15-11 in 5-on-5 shot attempts in the first period, but things were flipped upside down in the second.
The Flyers started out the second period with a lot of sloppy play. They couldn’t get out of their own zone and even when they did, they would turn the puck over. Carter Hart was able to keep the Capitals off the board for most of the period, at least, but he couldn’t do it all.
There was a chance for the Flyers to take some momentum back on the power play, but James van Riemsdyk took a tripping penalty just five seconds into the man advantage.
He was confused by the call.
The Capitals then took another penalty, but the Flyers couldn’t convert on a great chance off the rush.
Konecny had another prime opportunity later in the period at even strength off a great passing play as well. Unfortunately, this one went wide.
Then the Capitals officially took over. T.J. Oshie went around the world to feed Alex Ovechkin for a shot.
Ovechkin missed the net several times earlier in the period, but he didn’t miss here.
The Flyers looked like they would escape the period tied at one until the final minute. The referees made a questionable icing call that led to a Capitals offensive zone faceoff.
JVR didn’t like the call.
Of course, the Flyers lost their coverage and Dmitry Orlov scored with 15.8 seconds left in the period.
It was a deflating goal to give up that sent the Flyers into the locker room down by one rather than being tied.
The Capitals added on in the third period.
Zdeno Chara hit Farabee up high and JVR came to his defense.
Unfortunately, while this was happening the Capitals entered the offensive zone with numbers and scored.
That gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead and the Flyers couldn’t recover.
The Flyers had a few more chances, including a power play midway through the period. Alain Vigneault also got really aggressive and pulled Hart for the extra attacker with over four minutes left.
There were some missed opportunities in the second period that came back to haunt the Flyers. They couldn’t add on to their 1-0 lead when they had the chance and it cost them.
It’s a busy week in a busy month for the Flyers. They’ll play the Buffalo Sabres on Tuesday night before hosting the Capitals again on Thursday and Saturday.