The environment for this game was incredible. All of Philadelphia seemed to be packed into the Wells Fargo Center, first to honor the late Ed Snider and then to try to propel their team to begin staging a comeback. While the Flyers were the first team to score this evening, it was the Capitals who won 6-1.
Philly looked like they might try to cause some trouble in this series, as Michael Raffl scored at the 57 second mark, assisted by Brandon Manning and Sam Gagner, to give the Flyers an early lead. Marcus Johansson and the Capitals leveled 3:46 later on the power play, assisted by First Star of the Game John Carlson and Third Star Nicklas Backstrom.
The Capitals took a lead they would not yield with Second Star Alex Ovechkin’s first goal of the night, a snapper at the 8:50 mark of the second period. He was assisted by Backstrom and T.J. Oshie.
It was the second period when things really started going south for the trailing home team. Although they were only down a goal, there was a noticeable difference in Philadelphia‘s approach to the game. Things peaked at when 8:01 remained in the period, when Ryan White absolutely smashed Brooks Orpik into the boards. Orpik did not return to his skates by his own power and had to be helped off the ice, and did not return from the dressing room. I am no doctor, but his eyes did not look clear at all, and given Orpik’s history of concussions, things may not be looking good for a quick return.
Before the night was through, Philadelphia committed a whopping 53 minutes of penalties. In fact, all four of the third period goals were a result of at least a one-man advantage, but many times the Flyers had a crammed penalty box, leaving Washington with 5-on-3 situations.
1:58 into the third, Evgeny Kuznetsov cashed in on a Brayden Schenn slashing penalty on Tom Wilson at the end of the second period, as his wrister, assisted by Justin Williams and Braden Holtby, set the score at 3-1. 5:39 later, Carlson extended the Caps‘ lead with power play slap shot that found the back of Steve Mason’s net, assisted by Ovechkin and and Williams. Washington struck again with 5:02 remaining in the game when Ovechkin found the net for the second time of the night with a slap shot from outside the left face-off circle, assisted by Carlson and Oshie. Jay Beagle closed the scoring line for the Capitals with 1:40 remaining with his second goal of the series, as his wrister assisted by Nate Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov set the score at the 6-1 final.
Holtby earns the win after saving 31 of 32 shots faced (96.9%), while Mason takes the loss, saving 21 of 27 (77.8%).
Washington will attempt to complete the series sweep Wednesday at 7 p.m. eastern. That contest can be viewed on CBC, NBCSN or TVAS.