With Joe Biden in attendance, the Flyers looked to begin a new winning streak. With the Washington Capitals in town, emotions ran high as the Wells Fargo Center found itself in a near playoff atmosphere.
The game was set to be a tough test for the Flyers, facing the team that beat them in the playoffs last year without Sean Couturier, Matt Read or Mark Streit who are all still nursing injuries. However, they matched the Caps well during the game en route to a 3-2 victory in the shootout.
The game started with the Capitals controlling most of the play in the first frame. Andre Burakovsky buried the feed shown in the above picture past a sliding Radko Gudas and goalie Steve Mason. The Flyers were a little hemmed in during the first frame being outshot 14-7 in the first period.
However, the game took a different tone in the second. Michael Raffl wrapped a puck around after a near miss and other offensive pressure while the goal horn went off and the team’s stopped playing. The referee initially ruled no goal. However, after confirming with the video review, the call on the ice was overturned to goal and the Flyers had the game tied at one.
Just over five minutes later, Lars Eller would bury the puck after a failed clear from Raffl was pumped by the Caps back in front. However, the Flyers dogged determination and fury would not be denied as Claude Giroux would tie the game with an even strength four on four goal late in the second period. The Flyers had three golden chances on the four on four time while the Justin Williams of Washington and Shayne Gostisbehere sat in the box with matching minor penalties.
The third period featured some solid goaltending as Mason and Holtby lived up to their status as top tier starters. The Flyers third line of VandeVelde-Bellemare-Lyubimov had some sustained pressure and Lyubimov showed he has the market cornered on turn-around-slap shots.
The game would head to OT, with Radko Gudas in the box late in the third and the early part of OT, Mason would make several more scrambling saves in both the dying seconds of regulation and overtime before the Flyers would head to the dreaded shootout.
In the shooutout TJ Oshie would score for Washington, while Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds would score for Philadelphia to win the game.
Matt’s Three Stars:
1: Steve Mason
2: Braden Holtby
3: Michael Raffl
Raffl’s forechecking skill is flat out dominant. He’s one of the best puck possession forwards via advance metrics and it shows. His contract is probably one of the best UFA steals in the league in terms of hidden value.