Flyers reach All-Star break on high note with OT win over Capitals

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Flyers reach All-Star break on high note with OT win over Capitals


WASHINGTON -- Jakub Voracek needed 38 seconds to end the Flyers' losing streak.

And the Washington Capitals' home winning streak.

Voracek outmuscled Evgeny Kuznetsov and beat Braden Holtby with a spin-around wrister 38 seconds into overtime Wednesday night to give the Flyers a 4-3 win over the Capitals.

It was Voracek's second goal of the game and second overtime game-winner of the season.

"You watch what he did tonight, it was excellent," Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. "The play that he made on the game-winning goal, it was a big-time play."

The win snapped the Flyers' three-game losing skid and put an end to the Capitals' 12-game home winning streak, which fell one game shy of tying the franchise record.

With the victory, the orange and black gained two points in the wild-card chase heading into the All-Star break since the Penguins and Devils were both idle Wednesday night.

Heading into Wednesday's matchup, the Flyers were coming off a string of tough losses. Last Tuesday, they suffered a defeat by Toronto with under two minutes left. Monday, same story.

"We just needed to win," forward Ryan White said. "I thought we played pretty good in the Boston game. Pittsburgh and Toronto were a couple of tough games.

"Maybe we deserved better the other night, but deserving better doesn't mean anything. We need to come out of here and get two points. And the boys did a good job tonight."

While it was important for the Flyers to head into the break avoiding a four-game losing streak, White was quick to point out they've been through this before and came out flat.

"We had a big win before Christmas and it didn't really mean much," he said. "We came out and lost three in a row. We just have to be a consistent group and be ready every night."

White registered his fifth goal of the season in the first period, when he intercepted a Kuznetsov turnover and beat Holtby. His goal gave the Flyers a 2-0 lead.

Playing with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Chris VandeVelde, White quickly credited his linemates for creating the turnover.

"You know what, it was good forechecking by those other two," he said. "They do it every night. That's their job to get out there and hound pucks, make guys make mistakes."

With the Flyers leading, 2-0, in the second period, the Capitals came out of the first intermission firing. In less than a minute, Washington erased the Flyers' two-goal lead.

Andre Burakovsky deposited a Flyers turnover past Michal Neuvirth at 7:49 to make it a 2-1 game, and then 55 seconds later Nicklas Backstrom beat Neuvirth to knot the game at two.

Burakovsky also scored the game-tying goal in the third period at 3:55.

"After they scored the two quick goals," Neuvirth said, "I was still confident in our group. We made a couple of mistakes, but other than that we played a solid game."

All three goals Neuvirth surrendered can be pinpointed to defensive-zone breakdowns and turnovers. Claude Giroux was goated out of position on Backstrom's goal and turnovers led to both of Burakovsky's goals.

Still, Neuvirth escaped the nation's capital with a win over his former team. The 27-year-old stopped 27 shots in his first start in Washington since February 2014.

After the morning skate Wednesday, Giroux said it was important for the Flyers to get off to a good start against the Capitals, who hadn't played in over a week.

The Caps had both of their games postponed this past weekend because of snow.

Though the Flyers surrendered two leads, they jumped out to a two-goal advantage. At one point in the first period, the orange and black had scored on two of their three shots.

Against the NHL-best Capitals, the Flyers fought until the end and came away with a huge win in a tough building. They're now 6-2-2 in their last 10 games at the Verizon Center.

"They're damn good," Hakstol said. "They have a lot of weapons, they're very deep.

"We got the start that we needed. Maybe we were able to take advantage of an eight-day break that they were coming off of but we still had to take advantage of that and we did.

"From there, it was back and forth. I thought both teams left it all out on the ice and, most importantly, we found a way to come up with two points. It was much deserved."

Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip

Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip


From the moment it was announced that Oskar Lindblom would miss Wednesday night's game, the Flyers' chances at Pepsi Center felt bleak.

No Lindblom, no Travis Konecny and facing the NHL's highest-scoring team in its building was not a promising script for the Flyers, who lost to the Avalanche, 3-1.

In stretches this season, the Flyers have struggled to bury goals. And that has been with Lindblom and Konecny — their two leading goal-scorers at 11 apiece — in the lineup.

The Flyers (17-9-5) did some good things but Colorado finished plays behind its world class talent up top.

The Avalanche (20-8-3) are on an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) in which they've scored 4.13 goals per game.

• Without Konecny (concussion) and Lindblom (upper body), the Flyers had difficulty putting the puck in the net. They were going to have to put up some goals against the Avalanche, who entered scoring an NHL-best 3.70 goals per game. For the second time in the last three games, the Flyers scored only one goal.

The lone tally came from Claude Giroux when the Flyers were trailing 3-0 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation.

• Following a first period in which they survived, especially in the back half of it thanks to Carter Hart, the Flyers actually played a solid second period. At one point during the middle stanza, the Flyers were outshooting Colorado 11-0.

But as the Flyers kept pushing to no avail, the Avalanche changed the whole complexion of the period with one play by their two best weapons. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen hooked up for a nasty marker to make it 2-0 with 3:55 left in the period, a deflating goal to allow for the Flyers.

Considering Colorado was 14-0-1 when leading after the middle period, the Flyers were in a serious hole, even after a hard-working period.

• Hart, who entered 8-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .928 save percentage over his last 12 starts, faced the Avalanche for the first time in his career.

He made a highlight-reel save and gave the Flyers a fighting chance in tough circumstances.

The 21-year-old has been impressive during the first period all season long, allowing the Flyers to find their legs and rhythm. He converted 12 of his 24 saves in the opening stanza against Colorado.

On the Avalanche's first-period goal, Scott Laughton won a defensive zone faceoff but the Flyers failed to clear the puck, resulting in Matt Calvert's tally.

Rantanen added his second goal early in the third period and that was pretty much the game.

Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz, who came in 5-0-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .926 save percentage over his last eight games (six starts), finished with 32 stops.

• When Philippe Myers (back spasms, day to day) is ready to return, Robert Hagg should be the odd man out on defense. Shayne Gostisbehere has found some of his offensive mojo and Myers has shown way too much promise to be sitting when healthy.

A stay-at-home guy like Hagg was far too noticeable against the Avalanche. He committed a penalty and was a minus-2 in 15:21 minutes.

• David Kase was summoned to Denver this morning to make his NHL debut and become the ninth rookie to play for the Flyers this season

The 22-year-old winger had a nice scoring chance and two shots in 7:47 minutes. 

• The Flyers head to the old stomping grounds of general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr when they visit the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Fletcher was the GM in Minnesota from 2009 to 2018 and Flahr was his AGM from 2010 to 2018.

The Flyers have not lost consecutive games in regulation since Oct. 27-29.

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Flyers at Avalanche: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Avalanche: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

As one of the NHL's best teams since Nov. 1 (12-3-4, 28 points), the Flyers now face a new challenge.

Alain Vigneault's undermanned group begins a three-game road trip Wednesday as the Flyers (17-8-5) visit the Avalanche (19-8-3).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 9:30 p.m. ET
Where: Pepsi Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Network
Live stream:

• The Flyers are without Travis Konecny (concussion, out indefinitely), Oskar Lindblom (upper body, out tonight), Philippe Myers (back spasms, day to day), Michael Raffl (broken right pinkie finger, out approximately four weeks) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder, out indefinitely).

"Injuries are a part of a season. You have to expect it," Vigneault said Monday. "Then you need somebody else to step up."

More than ever this season, the Flyers will be looking to Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk to produce among the forwards.

The Flyers are 10-2-1 when Hayes records a point and 9-1-0 when van Riemsdyk records a point.

• Not only are the Flyers severely shorthanded Wednesday night, but they're also facing the NHL's highest-scoring club. The Avalanche lead the league with 3.70 goals per game. Their top line of Nathan MacKinnon (47 points in 30 games), Mikko Rantanen (18 points in 14 games) and Gabriel Landeskog (nine points in 14 games) is scary.

"We know going into Colorado, we're going to have to be careful versus their top unit," Vigneault said Tuesday. "[Monday] night, they seemed to load up. That's one of the best lines in hockey."

• Carter Hart will face the Avalanche for the first time in his career.

The 21-year-old goalie is 8-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .928 save percentage over his last 12 starts.

Projected lineup


Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
James van Riemsdyk-Morgan Frost-Tyler Pitlick
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
David Kase-Mikhail Vorobyev-Chris Stewart


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


Carter Hart
Brian Elliott


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