Flyers

Capitals 5, Flyers 3: Defending champs are too much yet again

Capitals 5, Flyers 3: Defending champs are too much yet again

BOX SCORE

The Washington Capitals dominated early Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center, scoring five goals in the first 25 minutes of the game on their way to handing the Flyers a 5-3 loss.

Flyers netminder Brian Elliott was pulled after allowing four goals on 19 shots. 

It was the first time the Flyers failed to pick up a point since a Feb. 21 loss to the Canadiens.

Here are my observations:

• I had a suspicion that playing without Nolan Patrick and Jakub Voracek could really hamper the Flyers against a fast-paced, transitional team like the Capitals, a team that is one of the best in the league in moving the puck from zone to zone. Interim head coach Scott Gordon said Tuesday that playing with 11 forwards is not a problem if everyone is in position and where they need to be. At times, the Flyers were caught out of position.

• Gordon used an assortment of different lines right from the opening jump. It was hard to get a read on who was with who to start, but he has done so much mixing and matching that it has become par for the course. Fourth-liner Corban Knight saw extensive ice time, playing over 14 minutes after 17-plus against the Islanders.

• Alex Ovechkin gave us a little bit of everything in the first 23 minutes of this game. His 245th power-play goal was a gimme putt on the golf course with the way the Flyers' penalty killers overcommitted away from Ovechkin, but the play that stands out is how he swept the puck away from Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim and then threaded a pass from his knees to Tom Wilson. Sanheim was in position to make a play, but sometimes you have to tip your hat to greatness.

• This marked the sixth straight home game the Flyers have given up at least one first-period goal. In four of those games, the Flyers have trailed after the opening 20 minutes. You’d like to see the Flyers have cleaner starts on home ice, but that hasn’t been the case at all this season. They’ve allowed 31 first-period goals in 34 home games. 

• There were very few Flyers worthy of praise in this game, but Philippe Myers played solidly through the first 40 minutes. Once again, he was physical in his own zone, he drew an early penalty to give the Flyers a power play, and then added this beauty of a wrist shot that beat Braden Holtby on the glove side.

I’ve had high praise for Myers since he made his NHL debut last month, and I think by the midway point of next season, he’ll be on the top defense pairing with Ivan Provorov.

• Elliott was due for a clunker after playing so well in his first six appearances back from injury. However, against the Caps, when the Flyers needed another big game out of Elliott, he yielded four goals on 19 shots. There are a couple of goals I hang on Elliott — Ovechkin’s power play that slipped through the five-hole and the one glaring mishap, Brett Connolly’s goal that slipped off Elliott’s glove and hit the camera mounted in the back of the net.

• With the victory, Holtby became the second-fastest goaltender to 250 wins in NHL history, and while he has been on some very prolific and successful Washington teams, this has been aided by the advent of the shootout. Holtby has 23 wins in the shootout, which ranks only 29th since it was instituted.

Believe it or not, Steve Mason has the same number of shootout wins as Holtby. The Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist is the NHL’s all-time leader with 61.

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'Tis the season for ... Jawnaments? Jawnaments!

'Tis the season for ... Jawnaments? Jawnaments!

If you live in Philadelphia or the surrounding area, it's safe to say there's at least one ornament on your tree representing the city — whether it be a memento from a previous championship Philly has seen, famous landmarks or even the skyline, you're repping one way or another.

Throw everything you thought you knew about Philly ornaments out the window and make way for Jawnaments ... yes, you read that correctly.

Jawnaments. I swear, there is no place like Philadelphia.

Jawnaments is an Etsy shop that has been around since 2017 but they recently released a ton of non-traditional Philadelphia-inspired ornaments. And they're a thing of beauty.

Can you only function throughout the week because of the daily coffee you grab at Wawa and want to highlight that on your tree this year? They've got you covered.

Haven't received a parking ticket in the city in a while and just miss the stress and anxiety they bring with them? Yup, they've got that covered too.

The Tastykake Krimpet and Kandy Kake ornaments look good enough to eat ... even a classic soft pretzel with yellow mustard is an option.

And since Gritty is just about everywhere in the world ... it he. On an ornament. Oh sorry, *Jawnament.

Trust me, there are a ton of other options but you're just going to have to check out the full shop to see the beauty of it all.

You might even have to get a mini tree that's dedicated to the city you know and love. Heck, keep it up all year!

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Flyers vs. Coyotes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Coyotes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers own a five-game winning streak and seven-game point streak.

On Thursday night, the Flyers (16-7-5) will try to extend those season-best streaks when they host the Coyotes (16-9-4).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• During rookie camp, Joel Farabee, a 2018 first-round pick with a bright future in scoring goals, spoke about his strengths playing well on the penalty kill.

In fact, he said, "Honestly, I think by the end of my career, I'll be more of a PK guy rather than a power play guy."

When Alain Vigneault was told on Thursday about Farabee's comments, the Flyers' head coach smiled. He liked the 19-year-old rookie's passion for killing penalties.

With Michael Raffl out approximately four weeks because of a broken right pinkie finger, Farabee will get his wish by jumping into the Flyers' shorthanded rotation.

“There’s no doubt he’s a smart player," Vigneault said Thursday morning. "We’ve all noticed that from the beginning — the skill set and the smarts.”

The Flyers' penalty kill has been vastly improved under assistant coach Mike Yeo as it entered Thursday ranked third in the NHL at 85.9 percent. Coming into the season, the Flyers' penalty kill since to 2014-15 was at 78.4 percent, second worst among the league.

Vigneault said Farabee has watched film with Yeo and is ready to take on the shorthanded responsibility. How well Farabee plays in the role will have a sizable say in where the Flyers stand by the end of December.

• For tonight's game at least, the Flyers aren't ready to put Mikhail Vorobyev at fourth-line center. The Flyers will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Shayne Gostisbehere and Philippe Myers are coming off big-time performances, while Robert Hagg has earned playing time, as well.

• The Coyotes are 9-3-3 on the road and have allowed the NHL's second-fewest goals per game overall with 2.31.

“Speed, skill, they’re the third-best team in the league as far as the way they play on the road," Vigneault said. "They’ve been playing well for quite some time.”

• Impressive numbers from Travis Konecny:


Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Philippe Myers-Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

 

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