Sometimes You Gotta Fall Before You Fly; Washington Capitals vs Philadelphia Flyers

GoaltenderRecordGAA / SV%
Washington Capitals Vitek Vanecek5-1-42.42/ .902
Philadelphia FlyersMartin Jones5-2-22.02 / .941

The Washington Capitals have dropped their last two games, each being one-goal-deficit losses, and both coming on the road. Now, the Caps are back in DC to take on the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers are 5-2-2 this season, and 2-1-1 on the road. Washington is 6-1-0 in their last seven games against Philly, lost their previous five games before that, and then went on a five-game winning streak before that.

The Washington Capitals fell to the Florida Panthers in what ended up being a confusing and crazy match at the newly-named FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. The Caps ultimately lost in overtime for a 4th time, by a score of 5-4. Ilya Samsonov was slated to start for Washington, but moments into the game, he was promptly replaced by Vitek Vanecek. As it turns out, a nitro cold brew coffee of any size before a game can and will cause trouble. Then, out of nowhere, Samsonov returned to the net, and fans only realized he was in goal after giving up a goal on his first shot faced. Aleksander Barkov tallied his 6th of the season at the 3:07 mark of the first. The Capitals challenged the goal for goaltender interference, but the call was upheld, and as a result, Washington was forced to kill off a delay-of-game minor penalty for the failed challenge. Then, Aaron Ekblad scored at the 11:04 mark to make it 2-0, Cats. It was his 4th of the season.

Daniel Sprong finally got the Capitals on the board just 43 seconds into the second period. It was then that we noticed Sergei Bobrovsky was not in goal for Florida, and that Spencer Knight had replaced him.

Brandon Montour re-instated the Cats’ two-goal lead when he scored at the 7:16 mark of the middle frame. It was at this point that Vitek Vanecek replaced Samsonov in net (for a second time). Samsonov had allowed three goals on 15 shots, so it was time for a change. Barkov would tally his 2nd goal of the game to make it 4-1, Florida, at the 15:32 mark with his team on the power play (Eller; interference). But just under three minutes later, Alex Ovechkin potted his 10th goal in 10 games, to bring Washington within two.

Not only is he the current goals-leader, but he is now one shy of tying Brett Hull on the all-time goal-scorers list. Just before the expiration of the period, Washington would come within one goal of tying it up. At first, it was believed to be John Carlson’s goal, but after review, it was Tom Wilson who’d scored his first goal of the season.

The goal came with just 17 seconds left in the period.

Connor McMichael (the better Connor Mc- in the league) scored his first career NHL goal at the 6:56 mark of the third period to tie the game at four goals a-piece. McMichael became the fourth rookie to score a goal for the Caps this season, tied for most rookie goal-scorers in the league.

With no additional goals scored in the match, and the game tied, overtime, again, was needed. After maintaining possession of the puck for approximately zero seconds in the overtime period, Washington conceded its 5th goal, this time to Eetu Luostarinen. The overtime game-winner came at the 1:55 mark of the OT period. The Capitals are 0-4 in overtime this season. Washington was 0-for-2 with the man-advantage, but narrowly beat out the Panthers in the face-off circle. Nic Dowd who made his return to the lineup won 10 of all faceoffs taken. The Caps loss meant that the Panthers’ record improved to 9-0-1, the best 10-game start in franchise history.

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The Philadelphia Flyers also dropped their most recent game, a 3-2 overtime loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Just 16 seconds into the match, Brock MgGinn scored his 3rd of the season to stun the Flyers with an early 1-0 lead. Travis Konecny would tie the game at the 7:37 mark of the second period, on the power play, with his 4th of the season. But Jake Guentzel made it 2-1 just minutes later, forcing the Flyers to play catch-up again. With less than three minutes remaining in the game, Scott Laughton scored his 3rd of the year to tie it, 2-2. Like the Capitals and Panthers, the Flyers and Penguins needed an overtime period. One minute and 54 seconds into the OT period, Kris Letang scored to mark the win for the Penguins. It was his first of the season.

The Flyers’ power play was 1-for-3 on the night, and killed off both Penguins power plays successfully. Philadelphia boasts, again, the 2nd best faceoff percentage in the league (as a team), winning 55.5% of all faceoffs taken.

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The Washington Capitals are still without Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie. Aliaksei Protas was recalled from the Hershey Bears on Friday after it was announced that Anthony Mantha underwent shoulder surgery and would be out indefinitely. The Philadelphia Flyers are without Ryan Ellis (OUT; lower body), Samuel Morin (IR; knee), Kevin Hayes (IR-LT; abdomen), and Zayde Wisdom (IR; shoulder).

Kassie’s Noteworthy Remarks

  1. Carter Hart has been much better this year after an extraordinarily bad 2020-21 season. He’s allowing 2.41 goals per game, on average, and has a .926 save percentage.
  2. Alex Ovechkin recorded three points (1G, 2A) against Florida, marking hi 6th multi-point game in 10 games played this season. He trails only Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid in points (18).
  3. Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux are tied for most-points on the Flyers (11 pts). Giroux also has the 4th best faceoff percentage in the league (62.69%). Cam Atkinson leads the team in goals (6G).

The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers will play on Saturday, November 6th, at 7:00 EST, and can be seen on NBC Sports Washington and NBC Sports.

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