After last night’s victory in New Jersey the Capitals traveled south to Philadelphia to face the Flyers without Matt Niskanen, placed on LTIR Saturday morning by the organization. In the Flyers’ home opener Washington was ultimately unable to match their opponent’s level of play and lost the Metropolitan matchup 8 to 2.
Here's Saturday night's Plus/Minus:
Plus: The Capitals tallied two strong bounce back goals tonight after a pair of Flyers tallies. Jakub Vrana and Nicklas Backstrom did the deeds although their efforts weren’t enough in the end.
Minus: Madison Bowey had a tough NHL debut that included getting beaten in the slot for two Flyers goals (14:55 TOI, -3). Growing pains are to be expected with Washington’s youth but tonight highlighted the Capitals’ lack of defensive depth.
Eleven more notes on the game.
- An goal at the game’s eight minute mark from Sean Couturier got the night started in Philadelphia’s favor. Couturier cashed in on his own rebound after receiving a smart pass from Jakub Voracek.
- A surprise offensive faceoff from Alexander Ovechin led to Vrana’s tying goal our minutes later. John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up the assists on the play. Kuznetsov’s primary increases his league leading number of assists to eleven.
- But before the first frame came to its conclusion Philipp Grubauer lost a loose puck bet against Scott Laughton that allowed the Flyers to regain the lead before intermission. The shorthanded goal was created by a soft Carlson turnover while on the defensive blue line.
- And early in the second period Wayne Simmonds extended the Flyers lead to two. With the man advantage Voracek danced around a stick-less Bowey in the slot before Simmonds finished the scoring play from Grubauer’s left.
- Flyers’ Captain Claude Giroux put Philadelphia’s fourth on the board by tipping home a Couturier shot in the slot while marked by Bowey. The goal, at the game’s 30:32 mark, had the Wells Fargo Center thumping.
- Yet only thirteen seconds later Backstrom buried a breakaway against Brian Elliott to stop the bleeding, calm the building, and draw Washington within two once again. A pass from Brooks Orpik tipped by T.J. Oshie at center ice allowed Backstrom to get the puck in the clear and finish his opportunity.
- Valtteri Filppula would end any Capitals momentum before the close of the middle frame by finishing a nice pair of passes from Simmonds and Jordan Weal.
- Laughton would score with a wicked wrist shot that was tucked into the far elbow of the net to close off any chance of a comeback by the road team.
- Couturier and Giroux would tally their second goals of the night late in the third period to close out the night’s scoring.
- Philadelphia outshot Washington in each period of play (by 4, 4, and 8) and as a result their offense was clicking and dangerous throughout all sixty minutes of play.
- Grubauer took his first loss of the season in a lackluster road effort, yielding eight goals on 37 shots.
Washington will travel home to regroup before hosting a familiar Toronto Maple Leafs team at Capital One Arena on Tuesday night.