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Flyers vs. Capitals recap: Preseason ends with blown lead, shootout loss

That's it for the preseason. Real games start in six days.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

WASHINGTON -- The Flyers blew a late one-goal lead in their preseason finale Thursday night before losing 3-2 in a shootout at the hands of the Capitals. Shootouts are stupid anyway.

It was a pretty dull game throughout until the final minute or so, when Eric Fehr found a loose puck in a sea of Flyers and batted it home to tie the game at 2-2.

Frankly, if you don't include the blown lead and the ultimately the loss -- I know, that sounds silly -- it wasn't a bad game for the Flyers. They seemed to control possession for most of the night -- haven't seen numbers because screw that, it's preseason -- and they had some good looks on special teams, even if they didn't capitalize on the power play. The Flyers outshot Washington 6-0 in the overtime period as well, even though some of that included a power play.

They played well despite the bad loss. Again, preseason. We don't need to see results just yet. That's what next week and beyond is for.

The Flyers will now ship off to Cape Cod for some team bonding before their season opener Wednesday in Boston. No blown leads then, OK guys?

Ten 11 more observations on the game:

  • Brayden Schenn closed out his strong preseason with another strong game tonight. He's really shown a lot in the preseason so far -- enough to be really encouraged about his promotion to the first line. He, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek feel dangerous every time they're on the ice. I'm excited to watch these three play this season, even if they didn't perform on the score sheet tonight.
  • Related: Claude Giroux played a regular shift all night. He looks ready after being eased back into things the other night vs. the Rangers.
  • Another game, another bad showing from the Braydon Coburn-Andrew MacDonald pairing. It's getting old, and it's more of the same problem: they just give up so much dang space. On Andre Burakovsky's second period goal, it was 1-on-2 and neither defenseman stepped up near the blue line. They just let Burakovsky waltz in, and with each of them a stick's length away, the Capitals forward flicked a wrister that beat Steve Mason.
  • It feels like we're beating a dead horse, I know. But what were Coburn and MacDonald doing on the game-tying goal late in the third period? It was a tough rebound to find, but MacDonald didn't know what was going on and couldn't locate the puck before Eric Fehr did. Watch it here if you want. When you have your supposed best pairing on the ice defending a one-goal lead late, you'd like them to do something.
  • The fourth line is fun, part one: Threw 'em out there on the faceoff after the Burakovsky goal, and within seconds the puck is in the net. The Capitals had their own fourth line out there, which featured at least one goon -- Kris Newbury, formerly of the Phantoms -- and this just goes to show you what a speedy, skilled fourth line can do. Most opposing fourth lines in the NHL (even during the regular season) are flat out bad. If you have skill on your fourth line and can win those minutes, it's obviously a good thing.
  • The fourth line is fun, part two: If the line is Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Jason Akeson and Zac Rinaldo to start the season, I'll be happy, even if Rinaldo might bring them down as opposed to somebody like Blair Jones. There's also the potential that if Zac plays with two skilled players, he'll be able to grow into an effective player as well. He's shown bits and pieces of this in preseason, including on Akeson's goal, and it's encouraging.
  • The fourth line is fun, part three: Akeson did the Danny Briere celebration after his second period goal.
  • I didn't notice Alex Ovechkin once tonight. I have no point to make here. I just thought it was weird.
  • The Flyers used Vinny Lecavalier on that Scott Hartnell role on the first power play unit tonight, as they have for much of the preseason. It's an interesting look for Vinny. He certainly has the shot and the hands to play there, and I think he might just be a good fit there. ( ... which is neat, because he's not really a fit anywhere at even strength...)
  • Rinaldo got his face beat in by Liam O'Brien in a first period fight. I mean, O'Brien has fought the Flyers three times in training camp -- once against Samuel Morin in the rookie game and once in the preseason opener against Zack Stortini. He lost handedly both times, so he was due.
  • The new dry scrape of the ice before overtime sucks and it takes too long and they shouldn't do it and it's bad.