The Philadelphia Flyers had a chance to win back-to-back games for the first time in over a month on Saturday night. And it looked like they might actually get the job done against the Washington Capitals.
The Capitals scored with 39.8 seconds left to tie the game and then won it with one minute remaining in overtime.
The Capitals needed to get off to a better start than Friday night and they did just that. They were the much better team early on.
Washington benefitted from an iffy penalty call on Ivan Provorov in the opening minute. Provorov also picked up an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty to make it a double minor.
It wasn’t a full four-minute power play for the Capitals, though. Tom Wilson was called for hooking for some 4-on-4 action.
Neither team got much going during those two minutes, but the teams traded rushes on the Capitals’ latter power play.
After a failed odd-man rush by the Flyers, the Capitals came down the ice on a four-on-one rush. That one was Samuel Morin, who played the rush perfectly to take away the passing lane and Alex Lyon made the save.
The Flyers killed off both Capitals power plays, but Washington still had the momentum. The Capitals had a good push in the first half of the period.
Finally, the Flyers were able to put some pressure on with their top two lines generating offensive-zone time around the midway point of the period. They had some chances, but nothing was going.
The Capitals were the better team overall in the first period, but that isn’t saying much. Both teams had some turnovers in their own zone, but no goals were scored in the frame.
It was a very sloppy first period for both the Flyers and Capitals. It makes some sense for the Capitals with their top players out, but the Flyers, who were much worse in the first, don't really have an excuse. It's just them.
Scoreless after one period in D.C.
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) May 8, 2021
The Flyers picked up their play in the second period.
Early in the period, Cam York drew another penalty in just his second game. He drew a hooking penalty in his debut and Nic Dowd tripped him 1:27 into the second period.
Unfortunately, the Flyers power play was a mess and they couldn’t use it to their advantage.
The third line had a great chance in front of the net, but Nicolas Aube-Kubel dropped the puck to James van Riemsdyk, who was denied by his brother.
The Capitals then had a breakaway chance, but Alex Lyon stoned Carl Hagelin to keep the game scoreless.
Ivan Provorov took his third penalty of the game just past the midway point of the period. For the third time, the Flyers killed off the penalty. Joel Farabee had a nice shorthanded rush and got a shot off.
The Flyers gained some momentum from the penalty kill. They kept pushing late in the period, but couldn’t solve Anderson.
Cam York wasn’t as flashy in his second game, but he still looked poised and under control. He flipped the puck out of danger a few times and then entered the zone off a pass from Claude Giroux. York fed Travis Konecny for a shot on the rush, but Anderson had the save yet again.
The Flyers played better in the second period, but still couldn't beat *checks notes* Craig Anderson. It's a 0-0 game through two periods with the Flyers leading in shots 20-19.
— Ryan Gilbert (@RGilbertSOP) May 9, 2021
The Flyers finally broke through early in the third period. The third line had been generating some chances all game long and they converted on one to open the scoring.
James van Riemsdyk sent a great pass to spring Scott Laughton on a two-on-one rush. Nicolas Aube-Kubel crashed the net and Laughton sniped a shot past Anderson for a 1-0 lead.
The ice was broken and the physicality picked up as well.
All four players received matching minors to keep it at 5-on-5 play.
Joel Farabee and Anthony Mantha then got tangled up for matching minors.
The teams played at 4-on-4 for two minutes.
Former Flyer Michael Raffl had a chance after the penalties expired, but Myers blocked the shot.
Sean Couturier then shot the puck on a two-on-one with Claude Giroux, but Anderson made a nice glove save.
Brenden Dillon took a dumb penalty after the whistle as he chopped at Travis Konecny.
The Flyers couldn’t make him pay on the power play, though.
Then, Jakub Voracek took a hooking penalty and the Capitals got a late power play with a chance to tie the game. Washington pulled their goalie at the beginning of the power play.
The Capitals passed the puck around for a few good one-time looks, but Lyon had the answer.
Lyon made a few huge saves on the Capitals’ power play.
The Flyers killed off the penalty, but the Capitals tied the game.
Anthony Mantha fed Lars Eller down low for a one-time goal to tie the game at one.
The Capitals needed to win the game in regulation to keep their hopes for the No. 1 seed alive, but the game headed to overtime and the Penguins clinched the top spot in the East.
Alex Lyon made a huge save on Lars Eller in overtime to keep the game alive.
Scott Laughton then beat Anthony Mantha down the ice to get a shot off in close, but Anderson had the answer.
The Capitals converted on their next two-on-one rush.
Nic Dowd got the puck to Connor Sheary and it snuck through Lyon to end the game.
It was an unfortunate end for Lyon, who was great otherwise in the game. He made 38 saves on 40 shots in the overtime loss.
The Flyers will finish out their season on Monday night at home against the Devils.