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4 reasons the Caps beat the Flyers

4 reasons the Caps beat the Flyers

Things did not start out well for the Caps on Wednesday as the Philadelphia Flyers jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first period. Washington battled back, however, and scored five straight goals en route to a 5-3 win in their first game back from the All-Star Break.

Here's why the Caps pulled out their first win over the Flyers this season.

Chandler Stephenson's first 2nd period shift

The Caps found themselves trailing 2-0 at the start of the second. Stephenson's first shift of the period lasted 1:03 and by the end of it, the game was tied. Stephenson scored two goals in a span of just 47 seconds to tie the game, the first multi-goal game in his NHL career. Lars Eller chased the puck down in the corner of the offensive zone to negate an icing call, then threw the puck on net from the sharp angle. It caught Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth by surprise and hit off his pad. He went down to the butterfly, but didn't know where the puck was until Stephenson tipped it in. On the second goal, Madison Bowey threw a long-distance pass from the defensive zone up to Stephenson to catch Philadelphia on a bad change and spring a breakaway goal.


Lars Eller putting the puck in the crease

Eller has been one of the hottest scorers on the team of late. He did not score in Wednesday's contest, but did record two primary assists by forcing the puck into the crease looking for dirty goals. Stephenson's first goal came on a hustle play by Eller who simply threw the puck at Neuvirth when he wasn't expecting it. On the second, he had the puck in the opposite corner on the power play and threw a pass to the crease that was tipped in by Andre Burakovsky.

Power play

After Stephenson tied the game at 2, the power play took over. The Caps' next two goals came on the man advantage as Washington took a 4-2 lead. The Caps would finish with two power play goals on three opportunities.


Braden Holtby

Lost amid a two-goal first period and all the excitement of the second was just how good Holtby was. When the Caps tied the game at 2, the Flyers tried to answer right back and Holtby was called upon to make a number of key saves to keep the game tied, like this one:

Without his outstanding effort, Philadelphia could have easily reclaimed momentum and this would have been a very different game.

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Being an Olympic hero is not all T.J. Oshie has in common with 2018 U.S. Women's hockey team

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Being an Olympic hero is not all T.J. Oshie has in common with 2018 U.S. Women's hockey team

Four years ago, Capitals forward T.J. Oshie was the shootout king in the 2014 Sochi Olympics. This time around Gigi Marvin was one of the Americans who provided the extra-time heroics for Team USA at Pyeongchang, carrying the women’s hockey team to the gold medal.

Ironically enough, they both were the King and Queen of their high school’s dance back in 2005.

Marvin and Oshie both went to Warroad High School in Minnesota. They graduated from the same class in 2005. Nearly every high school in the country would wish for just one Olympian, this one got two legends in one class.

Oshie famously took the puck six times for Team USA in a shootout to beat Russia back in 2014. Marvin scored the first tally of the shootout in the gold medal game against Canada. The United States would go on to win the match in seven rounds.

Oshie would go on to congratulate his fellow Warroad alum after the match.

Whoever cast the deciding votes, must have known that these two destined for glory. One could now call them the King and Queen of Olympic shootouts.


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Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital


Caps prospect watch: Boyd dedicates 4-goal performance to daughter after week in the hospital

It would have been understandable if Travis Boyd struggled this past week. Something more important was on his mind.

Boyd spent the week in the hospital with his daughter, Hayden, who had been experiencing pain in her throat. He spent the enitre week in the hospital, not leaving until Hershey's game against Laval.

Boyd turned this trial into something incredible as he scored four goals Friday in Hershey's 6-3 win.

Boyd spoke about the ordeal with Zach Fisch of the Bears Radio Network (transcription via RMNB).

“It actually started after the game last Sunday against Rochester," he said. "I went straight from the rink to Urgent Care and then from Urgent Care to the ER. Never left the hospital until Friday morning. We had a successful surgery on Thursday night. Basically just a bad infection in her throat that had to be surgically removed. They had to surgically go in and kind of remove the bacteria and drain out the fluids. Everything went well. She’s doing well.”

Following the game, Boyd dedicated his performance to Hayden.

A four-goal game at the AHL level would have been an incredible accomplishment on its own. The fact that it came during such a trying time for him makes this a truly inspirational story.

You can watch highlights of the game including all four of Boyd's goals here:


Other prospect notes:

  • In the Bears' game Friday against Laval, Riley Barber dropped the gloves with Markus Eisenchmid.  Barber was given an extra minor and game misconduct for instigating the fight in the final five minutes of the game. That penalty carries with it an automatic one-game suspension which Barber served Saturday. Here's a look at the fight.

  • Liam O'Brien had a pair of two-goal games over the week, scoring twice against Laval Friday and then two more against Toronto on Monday. Of his four goals, three of them were empty netters.
  • As the Capitals prepare for their Stadium Series game in Annapolis on March 3, Annapolis mayor Gavin Buckley—a native of Perth, Australia—made a plea to see Nathan Walker recalled for the game.  “I’ll have to put a quick shout out to the one Australian that’s playing for the Caps now, Nathan Walker. If you could just bring him up for this game, that’d be great. Because an Australian being in a hockey game is like a Jamaican bobsled team. It doesn’t happen very often.”

  • Brian Pinho was honored Friday in Providence College's Senior Night. He has served as captain of the team this season and as an assistant captain in his junior year. He spoke with The Cowl on what being a leader on the team means to him. "I think being a leader of this team is a great honor, but also a huge responsibility. I try to keep everything fun at the rink, while also bringing some intensity and competing hard every day.” You can read the full story here.
  • Goalie Adam Carlson, who was on loan to the Indy Fuel of the ECHL, was reassigned to the Kansas City Mavericks also of the ECHL. He started two games for his new team and turned aside 42 of the 48 total shots he faced.

Who are the Caps' top 10 prospects? Find out here in his week's updated rankings.