Armed with an early power play, the Washington Capitals and Alex Ovechkin though they had the opening goal, but Brian Elliott was able to get across the crease and squeeze the bid between his pads for a 10-bell save.
But a few minutes later Ovechkin wouldn’t miss his second golden chance — beating Elliott with a howitzer from the right circle to give the Capitals the 1-0 lead about nine minutes in. It’s No. 715 in the record book for Ovechkin, who pounced on a puck the Flyers couldn’t clear and made them pay.
The Flyers would respond in kind as birthday boy Travis Konecny ripped home a power play goal to even things up at 1-1 mere minutes after Ovechkin’s opener.
Birthday boy with the goal! pic.twitter.com/dLGHZnqO8h— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 12, 2021
We wouldn’t stay even for long as Conor Sheary broke in alone and beat Elliott through the five-hole to give the Capitals the lead right back less than two minutes after TK’s marker. Only the Edmonton Oilers have given up more goals within two minutes of scoring themselves.
Making his first appearance in the lineup in *checks notes* forever, Andy Andreoff fought Garnet Hathaway late in the first to try and jolt the Flyers — and the fans inside the Wells Fargo Center.
After 20: Caps 2, Flyers 1
Konecny put the Flyers down a man early in the second but the penalty kill was able to come up will a much-needed kill to prevent the lead from ballooning to two.
But, alas, the lead would soon balloon to two anyways. John Carlson jumped in from the point and beat Elliott 6:58 into the frame to give the Caps a 3-1 lead. Shocker, but a defensive zone marking issue allowed the Norris Trophy runner-up a season ago to cruise in unmarked, take a pass and fire one past Elliott’s glove side.
Washington would add to the Flyers’ misery late in the second as Nic Dowd undressed Travis Sanheim down the wing and then jammed the puck off of Shayne Gostisbehere and past Elliott to push the lead to 4-1.
No words, folks — just really bad.
Some glass broke with 1:29 left and the refs decided to tack on that time to the third period.
After 38:31: Caps 4, Flyers 1
Not much happened during the 1:29 they played on the clean ice before officially ending the second and switching sides. Before they could Zdeno Chara gave TK a nasty slash, but both would end up in the penalty box because very well respected veteran and young rat are not equal.
After 40: Caps 4, Flyers 1
Finally, to the third and an end in sight.
But first, an Ivan Provorov goal during the 4-on-4 with a beautifully placed wrist shot past the blocker of Ilya Samsonov to pull the Flyers to within two at 4-2 and plenty of time left. Sean Couturier and Erik Gustafsson picked up the helpers on Provorov’s third of the season.
Ivan Provorov cuts the lead to 2. pic.twitter.com/4C6vhI9zpu— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 12, 2021
Then with 9:15 left the Flyers would draw even closer with a snipe courtesy of Scott Laughton. The mustachioed man — and likely future star on a made-for-Netflix serial killer documentary — ripped a wrist shot past Samsonov from the left circle to pull the good guys within one.
Things just got interesting... Laughton's snipe has the Flyers down by 1 with 9 minutes left. pic.twitter.com/uHK6EVfxA5— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) March 12, 2021
The comeback would fall short, however, as Dowd with the sickness added his second of the night with an empty net goal with 27 seconds left to make it 5-3 and send the Flyers home empty-handed.
Final: Caps 5, Flyers 3