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Flyers vs. Capitals recap: A weird game with a happy ending

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The Flyers play from behind for 60 minutes, but eke out a win because of ... Vinny Lecavalier?

Rob Carr

Today's game was pretty much a mess -- a pair of strange goal calls, a bunch of really dumb penalties, and more than one multi-player scrum. Fortunately, the Flyers were able to take advantage of the chaos and delivered the Caps an overtime loss.

The first period was really freaking weird. It began with some sluggish play -- probably a byproduct of both teams playing yesterday (who scheduled that?) -- before Dmitri Orlov got the scoring going for the Caps. That was Orlov's second goal of the season -- his first came against, you guessed it, the Flyers.

Then the weirdness started. Giroux scored on the power play, but because the puck went in and out of the net so quickly (gif) the refs didn't call it. This led to the Flyers playing about a minute of hockey before a whistle stopped the action and the goal was reviewed.

Not to be outdone by that weird goal, the Caps delivered their own bit of weirdness late in the period. A shot got through Steve Mason and the puck trickled behind him until Mark Streit came in a batted it out of the net. Again, play continued for a while until it could be reviewed.

Did it cross the goal line? Some people think so, but after review it was waved off. Maybe that was a bad call, but who cares? It kept the Caps from gaining a two-goal lead on the Flyers. Hard to get mad about that.

All in all the Flyers got outplayed in the first, which is sad given that the Capitals aren't exactly lighting up the NHL right now.

The second period started off much stronger for the Flyers -- they gained ground in possession, got a short handed goal, and they generated a good number of quality chances. Unfortunately, the Caps were still able to convert twice (one of them again by Flyer-slayer Dmitri Orlov), and skated off leading 4-2.

The third was filled a bunch of shenanigans -- lots of post-whistle scrums and little bits of roughing here and there.

Mid way through the period, the Flyers landed themselves a five-minute power play (more on that later), and were able to narrow the Caps lead to one goal. It was a shame they weren't able to do more with that power play, but they sure did look good and generated a ton of chances.

The pressure from the Flyers continued thereafter, and after pulling Steve Mason in desperation, Claude Giroux was able to tie the game with just one minute left. The game went to overtime where offensive powerhouse Vincent Lecavalier scored the game winner. Wait, what? 

You read that right, Vinny Lecavalier was the hero of today's game.

Some notes:

  • Tom Wilson is a jerk, and of course he had to do something stupid today. Early in the first, he completely barrelled into Steve Mason (who was luckily not hurt on the play). So far in his short NHL career, Wilson has concussed Mark Alt during the rookie game back in September, delivered a nasty and dangerous hit on Brayden Schenn earlier in the season, and run into a defenseless goaltender. Oh, and he got all up in Claude Giroux's face today. I hate him.
  • Some really stupid penalties today, because of course. A number of Flyers found themselves in the box for doing stupid crap, but the award for idiotic penalties has to go to Steve Downie. He tripped Ovechkin in the offensive zone in the first, then earned himself a double minor in the second -- AGAIN in the offensive zone. When the Flyers were on their 5 minute power play, he decided to do land himself a roughing minor. That last one was offset by a Caps player, so no harm was done, but come on, Downie. Knock it off.
  • Simmonds, again, looked really good today. When the play was sluggish in the first, he really stood out as the only player with some jump. He nearly potted a goal early in the second period, but was completely robbed by Braden Holtby's toe. Sure, he committed a stupid penalty in the offensive zone during the third period, which was annoying because it wiped out a Flyers power play. But overall still a good pair of games for Simmer this weekend.
  • The Caps are kinda mean to Brayden Schenn. Apparenlty because Wilson's hit on him earlier in the season wasn't enough, Dimitri Orlov decided to charge him directly into the boards. Luckily Schenn wasn't hurt, but ease up on the guy, OK? Seriously, look at this! If no suspension comes out of this kind of hit, I give up.
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  • Today was Kimmo Timonen's 500th game as a Flyer. That is crazy, and also really awesome.

It's a shame the Caps got a point out of that, but hey, it happens. The Flyers will get a chance to gain their lead on them this Wednesday, anyway.