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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

BOX SCORE

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."

Senators' Brady Tkachuk fined maximum allowable amount for crosscheck on Flyers' Scott Laughton

Senators' Brady Tkachuk fined maximum allowable amount for crosscheck on Flyers' Scott Laughton

Suffice it to say Scott Laughton got the best of the Senators on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

He was the first star in the Flyers' 4-3 victory, scored the game-winning goal during the third period, added an assist, stood up for his teammates and got under the skin of Ottawa forward Brady Tkachuk.

So much so that Tkachuk went after Laughton, crosschecking the 25-year-old forward in the back and jumping him during the final minute of regulation. The NHL reacted quickly to the play, fining Tkachuk $2,486.56, the maximum allowable under the CBA.

Following his third-period marker, Laughton had words for the Senators' bench. He was fired up, especially after Ottawa's hits on Travis Konecny and Joel Farabee, which led to some fights. Laughton could not partake in the dropping of the gloves because he recently returned following surgery on a broken finger, which is still healing.


I knew it was coming. It’s part of the game when you do that stuff and chirp the bench, you know it’s going to come. I just can’t drop my gloves right now with my finger and everything. I’ve got some padding there so once I do that, I guess it’s a penalty or something. That’s just the way it went.

- Laughton

But Laughton still had the backs of his teammates. He was physical throughout, especially after the first-period hits on Konecny and Farabee. He also allowed his game to do the talking.

Laughton has four goals in his last six contests and the Flyers are 6-1-1 since his return following a 13-game absence because of the finger injury.

Would Laughton have liked to fight?

"Yeah," he said.

He did plenty enough.

Tkachuk's crosscheck and check to the league are proof of Laughton's work.

 

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Multiple fights, a potential costly injury to Travis Konecny and a different kind of Flyers win over Senators

Multiple fights, a potential costly injury to Travis Konecny and a different kind of Flyers win over Senators

Updated: 4:22 p.m.

BOX SCORE 

The win was ugly.

But a really good one for the Flyers.

A lesser opponent tried to work them up, throw them off, and the Flyers still found a way to pull out a 4-3 decision over the Senators on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center.

They did so while losing their best player during the first period and despite being outshot 30-21.

Scott Laughton was superb yet again with a multi-point game. He was physical when the game became physical and he scored the game-winning goal, his fourth marker in the last six games.

The Flyers (17-8-5) showed they can win when they’re far from their best, which is a good sign. They are 12-3-4 with 28 points since Nov. 1. The Capitals entered the day with an NHL-leading 28 points over that span.

The Senators (12-17-1) have lost six of their last seven games.

• The biggest storyline to come from Saturday’s game was Travis Konecny leaving the ice and never returning following a crushing hit by Mark Borowiecki in the first period.

The fights then broke out with Jakub Voracek and Joel Farabee doing the honors (see story).

The 22-year-old Konecny already had a goal in the game and has been arguably the Flyers’ most important piece to their turnaround through two months of this season.

Konecny was presumably getting checked for a concussion. If he were to miss any time, it would be a significant loss for the Flyers, who are 2-4-4 when Konecny goes scoreless in a game.

After the game, head coach Alain Vigneault said Konecny had an upper-body injury and the Flyers would have further updates Monday.

• Ivan Provorov kept on humming Saturday, matching his goal total of seven from last season by sending home a third-period missile to put the Flyers ahead 3-2 (see highlights).

The Flyers are 15-5-4 since Oct. 21. Over that stretch, Provorov has six goals, nine assists and a plus-10 mark.

• The Senators’ game-tying goal in the second period was an inexcusable one to give up by the Flyers. Carter Hart and Shayne Gostisbehere misread each other terribly, which allowed Anthony Duclair to swoop in for a shorthanded marker.

Both Hart and Gostisbehere need to be more aware in that situation.

The good news is Gostisbehere continues to push offensively and Hart has been awfully good since Nov. 1 — really, all season for that matter.

Gostisbehere has three goals in five games following a three-game benching. The 26-year-old defenseman had one goal in his previous 22 games.

Hart finished with 27 saves.

• Morgan Frost picked up his first point in eight games on Konecny’s goal.

Before the game, Vigneault expressed his confidence in the 20-year-old center who is centering the Flyers’ top line.

The 2017 first-round pick deserves some patience just like a lot of young players.

• Next week, the Flyers open a three-game road trip, which features matchups with the Avalanche on Wednesday (9:30 p.m. ET/NBCSN), the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and the Jets on Sunday (5 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

 

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