(Photo by Amy Irvin/38 Photography)
The Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon by a score of 3-1. Steve Mason played about half of the contest before leaving with an injury and being replaced by Ray Emery. Solid penalty killing and good neutral zone play allowed the Flyers to limit the Capitals to just 14 shots on goal this afternoon.
Mark Streit got the Flyers on the board first with a knucklepuck from the blueline. The goal was originally credited to Brayden Schenn before being changed during the second intermission. The Capitals struck back when Alex Ovechkin was inexplicably left wide open in the left circle during a power play. A failed clear attempt by Nick Schultz gave the Caps possession just before the goal.
A nice entry and snipe by Wayne Simmonds put the Flyers back ahead early in the third and they didn’t look back. The Capitals had trouble getting any sustained offensive pressure as the period went on, and Jakub Voracek capped the game off with an empty netter set up by Brayden Schenn.
For anyone holding out hopes of a playoff berth this year, defeating the Capitals in regulation today was extremely important, and the Flyers definitely rose to the occasion.
-The Flyers penalty kill was fairly impressive today. Aside from a costly mistake that left Alex Ovechkin alone in the left circle for an easy goal, they did a great job of getting in the way of zone entries and limiting shot attempts. Good to see.
-On that note, the penalty differential was not #good today. Tim Peel found the Flyers guilty of minor penalties on 7 different occasions, with the only two Capitals minors being against Tom Wilson during the last two minutes of the game. It’s tough to argue against any of the calls that went against the Flyers, but there were certainly some calls that should have gone the other way.
-It’s definitely frustrating to see Steve Mason get hurt again. He is having the best season of his career and has been possibly the brightest spot in a pretty dull season. Hopefully he won’t be gone long, but more importantly I hope that he won’t come back to soon.
-The 4th line continued to play some very good hockey. They are being used in favorable situations, but it is great to see that they are taking advantage of that. Vinny Lecavalier has played his best hockey as a Flyer since his return to the lineup.
-Scott Laughton fought Matt Niskanen during the first period, and appeared to say “thank you” to him afterwards.
-The Flyers allowed their lowest shots against total of the season today, holding the Capitals to just 14 shots on goal. Even more impressive considering the -5 penalty differential.
-Ray Emery was solid in relief of Steve Mason. Difficult to blame him for the Ovechkin goal, and he answered everything else that was sent his way
-Good to see Jakub Voracek with an empty netter to finish this one off. Prevented him from going 3 games without a point and moved him back to the top of the NHL scoring race