Several Capitals players end droughts in 5-3 win over Flyers
WASHINGTON — Chandler Stephenson, Andre Burakovsky and T.J. Oshie ended lengthy goal droughts to help the Washington Capitals rally past the Philadelphia Flyers 5-3 on Wednesday night.
Stephenson scored twice after going without a goal for 28 games, Burakovsky scored on the power play after coming up empty for 10 games and Oshie lifted his arms and looked to the sky when he scored on the power-play to end his 13-game dry spell. Devante Smith-Pelly scored Washington’s fifth goal on 20 shots to chase Philadelphia starter Michal Neuvirth midway through the third period of a game the Capitals trailed 2-0 after one.
Braden Holtby stopped 27 of the 30 shots, including an important glove save early on Travis Konecny and several saves against Flyers captain Claude Giroux. The Capitals avoided what would have been their first four-game home losing streak since 2010 on the heels of their NHL-best 10-game home winning streak that ended Jan 11.
No. 2 pick Nolan Patrick, Konecny and Jakub Voracek scored for Philadelphia. Alex Lyon made his NHL debut in relief of Neuvirth, stopping five shots in preparation for what could be his first start Thursday at New Jersey.
The Flyers got off to a hot start when Patrick made the most of his promotion to second-line center by scoring on a 2-on-1 rush with Wayne Simmonds just 1:18 in. Holtby robbed Konecny on another rush, but the young forward scored to make it 2-0 at 7:50 as he followed up Sean Couturier’s initial shot.
As much as Philadelphia dominated the first period, Washington took over in the second, starting with a mistake by Neuvirth when he lost the puck under him. Stephenson poked it in to get the Capitals on the board and scored on a breakaway 47 seconds later to tie it at 2.
Stephenson’s two goals in under a minute came after he scored two in his first 36 games this season.
With Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald in the penalty box for slashing, Lars Eller won a faceoff and a puck battle before directing it on net for Burakovsky’s first power-play goal of the season 14:32 into the second to give the Capitals the lead. It was all Capitals from there, though Flyers fans filled the arena with “E-A-G-L-E-S” chants days before the Super Bowl.
NOTES: Smith-Pelly replaced healthy scratch Jakub Vrana, who has one point in 13 games. Smith-Pelly’s goal was his first since Jan. 2. … Patrick had his first career multipoint game. … Neuvirth and Lyon were Philadelphia’s goaltending tandem because Brian Elliott is on injured reserve with a lower-body injury.
Flyers: Visit the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night.
Capitals: Visit the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.