The Caps defeated the Los Angeles Kings 3-1 on Tuesday in a game that pitted two of the NHL's best against one another. Here's the analysis:
How it happened: The Caps recovered from a sluggish start with a late second-period goal from Andre Burakovsky to tie the game at one. The game-winner came in the third from Evgeny Kuznetsov as, for once, someone fed him from behind the net instead of the other way around. Justin Williams took the puck from a scrum to Jonathan Quick's left and quickly fed it to Kuznetsov who was on Quick's right for the easy goal.
What it means: The Caps once again were able to avoid losing a second game in a row. Washington is the only team in the NHL to have not lost two consecutive games in regulation this season.
A happy return: Brooks Orpik was back in the lineup for the first time since Nov. 10 and did not look out of place at all. He finished the game with 16:34 of ice time. He even contributed on offense as well, picking up a secondary assist on Burakovsky's game-tying tally in the second period, Orpik's third assist of the season.
Stuck in the middle: Burakovsky's goal saved what otherwise was a terrible second period for the Caps. The Kings managed a whopping 19 shots in the middle frame, but Philipp Grubauer did his best Braden Holtby impression as he turned aside every one of them to keep the Caps within striking distance. Despite their dominance, the Kings went back to the locker room with the game tied after Burakovsky scored with 49 seconds remaining in the period.
Dropping the gloves: Tom Wilson logged his fifth fight of the season as he dropped the gloves with Luke Schenn in the second period. Wilson gave Schenn a shot to the back that sent him into the legs of Jonathan Quick, knocking the Los Angeles netminder to the ice. Schenn took exception to the hit and immediately went after Wilson. Wilson picked up the extra two minutes for interference.
Powerless: The Caps looked as if they had put their power play woes behind them with a power play goal in each of their last three games, but the offense dried up with the extra man again on Tuesday night, as the Caps failed to convert. They went 0-for-5 on the night including 0-for-3 in the first period.
What's next: The Caps will practice at Kettler on Wednesday before heading to Brooklyn for a game Thursday against the Islanders. The interesting question will be just who the Caps will face in net. New York has won four of their last five games thanks in large part to goalie Thomas Greiss who has outplayed noted Caps foil and incumbent starter Jaroslav Halak of late. For the season, Greiss has allowed 2.16 goals per game with a .931 save percentage.
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Playing three games in four days takes a toll on even the fittest athletes, and it was their sluggish start that doomed the Capitals in a 6-3 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers.
After being noncomittal about his starting goalie all weekend, Coach Barry Trotz put Philipp Grubauer in net. Grubauer ended up making 29 saves on 34 shots. Offensively, the Caps got goals from Alex Ovechkin, Chandler Stephenson, and John Carlson. Carlson's third period goal cut the Flyers' lead to two with a little over three minutes to go, but a Jakub Voracek empty-netter a few moments later was the nail in the coffin.
Here are your three stars from the game:
1. Travis Boyd had the play of the game for the Capitals. Boyd carried the puck into the Flyer's zone, cut through multiple defenders and fired a slick shot to a streaking Ovechkin, who burried the puck in the back of the net. Check it out:
Not only was the play nice on its own, but it was Boyd's first NHL point. Not a bad way to get it.
2. Shayne Gostisbehere got the Flyers going with his goal in the first period. The defenseman had one goal on five shots along with being an intimidating force in the defensive zone. After going six weeks without scoring, today's goal was Gostisbehere's second goal in three games.
3. Wayne Simmonds was the best offensive player on the ice on Sunday, scoring twice - both in the final period. It was the 22nd and 23rd goals of the season for the 29-year-old winger. It was also the first multi-goal game for Simmonds since Opening Night, when he had two against San Jose.
The Caps hit the ice next on Tuesday, when they welcome the Dallas Stars to the Capital One Center.
What: Washington Capitals vs. Philadelphia Flyers
Where: Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pa.
When: 5:00 p.m. ET
How to Watch: Capitals-Flyers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Flyers game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.
WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-FLYERS GAME?
The Capitals (41-23-7) take on the Flyers (36-25-11) Sunday, March 18 at 5:00 p.m. ET in Philadelphia.
WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-FLYERS GAME ON?
The Capitals-Flyers game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)
4:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
4:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
5:00 p.m. — Capitals at Flyers
7:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
8:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
9:00 p.m. — Caps in 30
WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-FLYERS GAME?
The Capitals-Flyers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.
CAPITALS-FLYERS OPEN THREAD
Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans.
For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.