The Philadelphia Flyers are in purgatory. They are out of the playoff picture, but the players and coaches can’t admit it yet. The actions –– or lack thereof –– by the front office at the trade deadline on Monday pretty much said it all, though. But the Flyers still had 15 games to play to try to finish out the season strong.
“There’s certainly an opportunity for this group to finish strong and leave a positive impression on all of us,” Chuck Fletcher said on Monday. But that didn’t happen on Tuesday night.
The first of those 15 games came just a day after the deadline. They headed down to Washington, D.C. to take on a Capitals team that made multiple additions at the deadline and was coming off an 8-1 win against the Boston Bruins.
The Capitals didn’t quite put up eight goals, but they came close!
The Flyers needed to show some sort of fight, but they came out lifeless against the Capitals.
It was evident from the get-go that Washington would be the ones controlling play on Tuesday night.
At this rate, it feels like it's only a matter of time until the Capitals get one … or five.
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) April 13, 2021
The Capitals dominated play early on and it quickly started showing up on the scoreboard.
Washington had a few prime chances in the first few minutes. They beat Brian Elliott through the five-hole on a 2-on-1 rush, but the puck wasn’t on target.
Then, it looked like Alex Ovechkin may have scored from in close, but Elliott had the puck thanks to some help from Oskar Lindblom.
But then it all came crashing down.
The Capitals scored four goals in the first period and the Flyers looked horrible on all of them.
Washington was just toying with the Flyers on the first goal. Samuel Morin was spinning in circles and Elliott was barely in the crease when the puck went into the net.
Somehow, it got worse from there.
After the Flyers tied the game on a Sean Couturier deflection, the Capitals got a power play with Ovechkin selling an elbow call against Shayne Gostisbehere. The Flyers survived the top unit’s pressure, but Elliott couldn’t stop a relatively harmless shot.
Sure, the shot was from in close, but that’s a bad goal for Elliott to give up.
The Capitals got another power play after a carelesss interference penalty by Nicolas Aube-Kubel. They made it look way too easy on the man advantage.
Nicklas Backstrom had all the time in the world to control the puck while Elliott was trying to get back into position.
That gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead and the added another one before the end of the period.
Carl Hagelin got the puck wide open in the slot and slid one through Elliott for the Capitals’ fourth and final goal of the first period.
The Flyers looked like they were afraid to make a play in the first period and the Capitals jumped all over them. The Capitals had a 4-1 lead on the scoreboard and outshot the Flyers 19-9.
The second period wasn’t as bad as the first, but that’s not exactly a high bar. The Flyers still didn’t really play with any fight, but they didn’t have as many defensive breakdowns either.
Alain Vigneault made a tweak to the lines for the second with Travis Konecny and Kevin Hayes swapping lines.
The Capitals still scored a goal in the second period, though, and of course, it was their newest acquisition.
The Flyers allowed the Capitals to walk in and Anthony Mantha sniped a goal for his first as a Capital.
The Capitals took a 5-1 lead into the second intermission. They outshot the Flyers 7-6 in the second period.
Alex Ovechkin had a wide-open net to shoot at early in the period, but Justin Braun blocked the shot.
The Capitals were perfectly content with playing conservative with a lead. They were still able to draw a penalty, though.
Finally, after missing a few prime chances, Alex Ovechkin got his goal.
There was no one within a few feet of Ovi and he made the Flyers pay.
The Flyers had a power play and a few scoring chances in the second half of the period, but they couldn’t get another one. They lost 6-1 to the Capitals.
It was an uninspiring effort in a season of uninspiring efforts by the Flyers.