Capitals 4, Flyers 5 OT/SO (0-1)
Playing like the top two teams in the Eastern Conference, the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers did not disappoint. After it looked like the Flyers were going to sail to an easy win, bad discipline by the visiting team gave the Caps the opening they needed to tie up the game and sends it to overtime and eventually into the shoot out. But the Flyers' skill guy Daniel Briere scores the only shoot out goal and the Flyers put this one in the win column 5-4.
Rookie Marcus Johansson started the scoring off for the Caps as he cleaned up a broken play in front of the net. The Flyers would respond on their power play then scored a pair of even strength goals to take the lead with 10:20 left in the third period 3-1. A couple of ill-advised penalties by the Flyers created the Caps' comeback. They scored a pair of power play goals (both garbage) to pull the game even. Nick Backstrom and Jason Chimera were the goal scorers. Flyers would come back with a slick goal of their own but again take a bad penalty late in the game. Eric Fehr scored the game tying goal with a rocket of a shot from the right face off dot to force overtime.
When the Flyers took the lead in the third and the Caps' Alex Semin was nicked with a tripping call. It seemed the game was at hand for the visiting team, but Kimo Timonen took a holding call to negate the Semin call. The Caps would score on the shortened power play chance. Mike Richards would take a penalty after slashing a Caps player after the goal was scored and it offered the Caps yet another chance with the extra man. It wouldn't take long for the Caps to tie up the game.
After that, it seemed chance after chance for both teams presented itself. The Flyers would regain the lead after Andreas Nodl scored by spinning around the Caps' defender and backhanded the puck through Michal Neuvirth's five hole. But the Caps would answer after the Flyers were yet again called for a penalty and with six skaters on the ice Fehr buried a shot to tie up the game.
Three goals were scored in the first two periods, but the scoring exploded in the third with 5 goals scored by either team. 4 of those were in the last nine minutes of play.
It was a great game for Marcus Johansson. The Caps' rookie would score his second goal of the season when he cleaned up a bouncing puck in front of the net and beat Flyer Brian Boucher glove side. Using his speed, Johansson created a slew of chances especially five on five. He was clearly the best Capital on the ice through most of the game. He will be even more exciting to watch when he figures out that wrister of his and starts beating goaltenders.
Alex Ovechkin may have an assist in this game, his scoring has seemed to hit a wall. He has only scored 2 goals in the last eight games. He had a few golden opportunities to score early after line mate Alex Semin fed him a couple of pretty feeds to cut him loose. But he rang it off the post on one shot, missed the net on another. In all, Ovi could only muster 3 shots on net. The rest? Five shots were blocked and 6 of them sailed wide of the net. The Caps' winger showed his frustrations at times often looking to the rafters after shots or shaking his head as he returned to the bench after a tough shift.
Great Goaltending Thwarted
Neuvirth kept his team in it for a majority of the game. He stopped 31 shots including some humdingers on the Caps penalty kill. The Flyers tried his glove side, to little avail through the first two periods. Only when they held on to the shot, delaying to make the young goaltender to bite early, did they find the back of the net.
That Seems Fehr
The line combo of Tomas Fleischmann, Brooks Laich and Eric Fehr created some havoc for the Flyers. They had a slew of even strength chances. Fehr himself had a heck of game as he lead the Caps in shots with six and scored the power play, game tying goal. He even had a jump in overtime and nearly scored in the extra frame.
A Much Better Effort
After the humbling loss to Southeast Division rivals Atlanta Thrashers the night before, the Caps came to play against their Conference rivals the Flyers. The Caps were getting early chances to score and seemed to be moving their feet better, keeping the visiting Flyers on their heels. Besides a couple of defensive breakdowns and poor discipline, the Caps did play a much better game than they did the night before.