The Flyers went toe to toe with the NHL’s best and highest-scoring team Wednesday night.
And they of course took the action into overtime and the shootout.
The skills competition is where they were finally cooled off.
The Flyers lost to the Capitals, 2-1, at the Wells Fargo Center as T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored in the shootout for Washington.
The Flyers (10-5-3), who have gone past regulation six times in the last seven games, had their four-game winning streak snapped. They did, however, extend their point streak to seven games (5-0-2). They are 8-2-2 since Oct. 21 (see story).
Sean Couturier nearly won the game for the Flyers when he nailed the post in overtime.
The Capitals (14-2-4) lead the NHL with 32 points and are on a 13-game point streak (11-0-2). They entered scoring an NHL-most four goals per game.
• Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux went scoreless over the team’s big weekend sweep of the Maple Leafs and Bruins.
With the Flyers in desperate need of a play in the third period, Voracek and Giroux connected for a power play goal to make it 1-1.
VORACEK ➡️ GIROUX TO TIE THIS GAME UP! pic.twitter.com/g00FR0nAT1— NBC Sports Philadelphia (@NBCSPhilly) November 14, 2019
The sequence makes you wonder if those two will reunite soon on the first line to get both of them going.
• Head coach Alain Vigneault shuffled his lines in the second period and then not long after pieced them back together. It seemed to work as the Flyers turned it up a notch in the back end of the stanza.
The Flyers came inches away from knotting the game when Travis Konecny rung the post as a power play expired with 4:51 left in the middle frame. A minute later, Tyler Pitlick had an acrobatic chance in front but was turned away.
• The Flyers’ third line could change soon. Carsen Twarynski, Kevin Hayes and Voracek haven’t gotten much going. The group has good size but hasn’t used it to its advantage.
Vigneault expects more out of Voracek and Hayes — and justifiably so. Voracek had the timely assist on the power play, while Hayes is without a point in eight straight games.
• Carter Hart came in 4-0-0 with a 1.92 goals-against average and .929 save percentage during November. He was brilliant against the league’s top-scoring team, making 35 saves.
Hart was once again clutch during the first period, making 15 saves as the Capitals took it to the Flyers in the opening 20 minutes. Prior to Washington’s goal by Brendan Leipsic, the Flyers had outscored the opposition 6-0 during the first frame in their previous four games.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby went 3-0-0 with 84 saves on 90 shots against the Flyers last season. He cracked only once Wednesday, finishing with 30 stops. Giroux was the only Flyer to beat him in the shootout.
• For the first time in 12 NHL games, Joel Farabee took a step back. He didn’t look like himself with the puck, quickly giving it away a few times instead of keeping it on his stick and making a smarter decision.
In the second period, he was briefly taken off the first line and both power play units, possibly a message from Vigneault telling the 19-year-old to get his game going and not be intimidated by the Capitals.
The rookie didn’t play much in the third period and didn’t see action in OT.
Alain Vigneault said Joel Farabee was fighting it a bit against a bigger, more experienced team. He said Farabee will be right back at it Friday. pic.twitter.com/jvAWZV8mm0— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) November 14, 2019
• The penalty kill continued its yeoman’s work. The Flyers, who entered as the NHL’s seventh-best shorthanded team at 85.4 percent, held the Capitals’ vaunted power play to 0 for 3.
The Flyers have not allowed a power play goal at home since Oct. 21.
The team’s own man advantage had fallen into a 2-for-17 funk before snapping out of it in the final stanza.
• Matt Niskanen, who spent his previous five seasons in Washington and won the 2018 Stanley Cup with the Capitals, played his first game against his former teammates since being traded to the Flyers during June.
He was his typical steady self.
Radko Gudas, who was sent to Washington in the trade, received a tribute from the Flyers during the first period.
Radko Gudas gets a salute from Flyers. pic.twitter.com/1o6YvlQTSp— Jordan Hall (@JHallNBCS) November 14, 2019
• The Flyers open their fifth back-to-back set of 17 this season when they visit the Senators Friday (7:30 ET/NBCSP+).
The team returns home Saturday to play the Islanders (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
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