In the most important Philadelphia sporting event on this Sunday (go Birds), the Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals for their second win in as many days.
In the onset of this one, the Flyers and Caps each shared small bursts of offense in a fairly tightly checked first five minutes. Ivan Provorov set an early tone with a bone-crushing hit on Capitals trash can Tom Wilson. A Nicklas Backstrom hook would soon follow and send the Flyers to their first man advantage of the game.
Ivan Provorov with a MONSTER HIT on Tom Wilson. pic.twitter.com/YEmkg3Gjdv— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 21, 2018
Unfortunately for Philadelphia, the power play wasn’t able to put together any kind of consistent pressure and the Capitals were able to fend off the Flyers attack.
The Caps got the first great chance of this one off a Provorov turnover that sent two of the most dangerous players on the team, let alone the league, on a two on one. Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov flew down the wings and somehow Kuznetsov shot right into Elliott’s pads with a wide open net.
About halfway through the period the Flyers....well...they sorta just stopped doing the hockey, if you will. Their passes were sloppy and the little offense they were creating was essentially all coming from the point. The Caps aren’t exactly a defensive juggernaut — in fact they’re 26th in the league in shot rate against — so it was surprising to see the Flyers not at least keep pace with them offensively.
In the remaining two minutes of the first, they apparently finally realized the Caps defensive flaws and got some consistent pressure on Braden Holtby. They escape the first period in a tie with Washington and look to improve in the second period.
1st Period Gameflow/Heatmap
Tom Wilson started out the second period in the only way he knows how, taking an obvious tripping penalty right in front of the referees.
On their second power play chance of the game, the Flyers generated much better pressure on this attempt, but were unable to get the puck past Holtby, keeping game still tied 0-0. Despite the man advantage ending, the Flyers continued to control much of the chances created in the beginning of the second. Jori (Jorald) Lehtera even managed to get a shot on goal! (Holtby stopped it easily of course but still!)
The Flyers finally CAPitalized (don’t @ me) on one of these chances as Valtteri Filppula delivered a perfect pass to the tape of Michael Raffl who sniped one shortside on Holtby to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.
A great pass by Filppula, and an even better shot by Raffl.— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) January 21, 2018
1-0 Flyers pic.twitter.com/kLkBTosWB8
Another prime scoring chance for the orange and black would come just moments later, a two on one that was brilliantly broken up by a sliding Ovechkin.
Despite a hot start from the Flyers in the corsi-game, the Capitals began to even it out as the period progressed and eventually got a power play after Tyrell Goulbourne hooked Jay Beagle as he was about to fire a shot from the slot.
Just as the Flyers’ power play had struggled, the Capitals were unable to get the puck on net for much of the man advantage and the Flyers were able to kill it off. The penalty kill still needs work, but since the bye week we’ve seen much better efforts and a better system in general when a man down.
Okay let’s take a second here and talk about the drop pass to no one from Lehtera, it won’t take long I promise. As the trailer on the play, how does his thought process say “hmmm let’s make a drop pass”. JORALD, YOU RECEIVING THE DROP PASS TYPICALLY MEANS YOU ARE IN FACT THE TRAILER, WHICH ENTAILS PROBABLY DON’T MAKE ANOTHER FLIPPING DROP PASS.
Alright now let’s get back to the ga-
Oh Ovechkin scored well isn’t that pleasant and he was being guarded by....no...YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME.
Apparently, to defend against the greatest goal scorer of our generation in Alexander Ovechkin, Ian Laperriere decided it was a fantastic idea to have one Mr. Lehtera guard him. This is actually amazing how Lehtera is viewed by this coaching staff. He’s considered an all situation player by them, who would have guessed!?
Anyway the period ends tied at one and the Flyers hopefully will realize who can actually play on this team for the third.
2nd Period Gameflow/Heatmap
The third started fairly quietly with little offense between both teams. Then Dimitry Orlov clearly hit Claude Giroux from behind, boarded him, whatever penalty you want to call there but apparently we’re all blind. No call on Orlov, and knowing the track record of the NHL, probably no further discipline.
After hit by Ovechkin on Jakub Voracek, Voracek and Kuznetsov would get into it, resulting in two-minute minors for each, and the Capitals offense took over in four on four play. Despite not scoring during the two minute stretch, the Caps were all over the Flyers and looked to be gaining even more momentum.
The Caps continued to dominate the Flyers but Brian Elliott remained up to the task. Without Elliott this game would have been over most likely before the third even began. T.J Oshie would then try to give the Flyers some much needed momentum with a tripping penalty on Scott Laughton.
In typical Flyers fashion, they were unable to convert. The second unit recorded the only two shots on the man advantage and that usually means not a good power play! Something that was extremely frustrating to see was the dump ins on the power play. That won’t work against an aggressive puck playing goalie like Holtby.
The Flyers would be tested with another huge penalty kill in the waning minutes of the period after a tripping penalty by Raffl. After solid work by...I can’t believe I’m actually saying this...Lehtera, the Flyers were able to kill it off.
Somehow, by some kind of miracle, they were able to survive the rest of regulation and are guaranteed at least a point vs. their division rivals. In a game where there is absolutely no reason for this team to be awarded a point, other than Elliott being a damn wizard, I’ll gladly take an OT game.
TRAVIS KONECNY WINS THE GAME IN OVERTIME, TWO MUCH NEEDED POINTS, IN YOUR FACE DAVE.
So yes, Travis Konecny wins the game with a gorgeous shot by Holtby on a two on one chance just a few seconds into the overtime, the Flyers get two huge points against the top team in the Metro, what a win.