Chandler Stephenson scores twice in Caps 5-3 win over Flyers
Coming into Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals had lost three of their last four games.
In a different vein, the Philadelphia Flyers were, well, flying.
Winners of nine of their past 11, they were heading into the nation’s capital against a team without a win in three straight at Capital One Arena.
None of the preambles mattered, however, as the Caps snapped their skid at home in a 5-3 win, scoring five unanswered and battling back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to increase their Metropolitan Division lead to six points over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Washington became the fourth team in the NHL to reach 30 wins behind the Tampa Bay Lightning, Vegas Golden Knights and Winnipeg Jets.
Philly got off to a quick start, with the second pick in the 2017 NHL Draft opened the scoring.
Nolan Patrick took a nice feed from Wayne Simmonds pulled the puck to his backhand and potted it up and over Braden Holby for a 1-0 lead 1:18 into the first period.
The Flyers doubled their lead before the eight-minute mark.
A nice rush from Sean Couturier resulted saved shot, but the rebound found its way to the stick of Travis Konecny, who buried his 11th of the season with Holtby down and out after getting knocked over by his own defender.
The Caps needed 47 seconds to erase the lead in the second period.
Rookie Chandler Stephensen stepped up in a big way, scoring both of the goals.
Stephenson cleaned up some garbage that Michal Neuvirth couldn’t manage in front for the first goal at 2:14.
Stephenson’s second came on the heels of a beautiful 150-foot pass by Madison Bowey to send the former in alone on Neuvirth.
Stephenson made no mistake, tying the game 2-2 at 3:01.
The Caps took their first lead of the night before periods’ end.
Andre Burakovsky got his stick on Lars Eller’s centering pass, beating Neuvirth for a third time in the second frame to give the Caps a 3-2 lead.
T.J. Oshie made it 4-2 early in the third period and Washington’s fifth unanswered goal by Devante Smith-Pelly meant the end of Neuvirth’s night after allowing five goals on 20 shots.
Jakub Voracek hit double digits with his 10th of the season late.