WASHINGTON -- The Capitals came into Saturday's game ready to celebrate a milestone moment for Alex Ovechkin. Instead, they played their worst game of the season and were handed a 7-2 drubbing by the Philadelphia Flyers.
The 700-goal celebration is on hold as Ovechkin was held without a goal to remain at 698. It was Philadelphia's offense that was clicking in the face of a horrific defensive performance for Washington.
Here is how the Caps lost.
A strong power play
Philadelphia wasted no time on its first power play of the night, scoring just nine seconds into the man advantage. Claude Giroux had the puck behind the net and set up Sean Couturier for the one-timer. It was a difficult play for Braden Holtby who had to hug his post with the puck behind the net giving up net to the far side to shoot on. Couturier struck the far side with his shot to give the Flyers the 1-0 lead.
It didn't help that Jonas Siegenthaler was the player in the box for Washington, the team's top penalty killer.
Boy was this an ugly game for the Caps' defense. Early in the second period, Radko Gudas made a horrible pass, taking the puck in the corner and trying a long-distance pass through the middle of the ice that was easily picked off by Nicolas Aube-Kubel in the neutral zone.
Aube-Kubel skated through stick challenges from Jakub Vrana and Gudas then set up Michael Raffl for the slam dunk.
Early in the third period, Michal Kempny snapped a pass that Kuznetsov could not handle and Aube-Kubel picked it up and whipped it past Holtby to make it 5-1.
The start of the second period
After the first 20 minutes, the score was tied 1-1. Less than five minutes into the second, Washington was down 4-1. The second period got off to an absolutely horrific start for the Caps as an opportunistic Flyers team pounced on every mistake.
Gudas' bad turnover made it 2-1. Just 14 seconds later, Couturier scored his second of the game to make it 3-1.
Nic Dowd could not handle a puck in the offensive zone, which started a breakout by the Flyers. John Carlson stepped up to challenge Claude Giroux for the loose puck, but couldn't get to him. Couturier saw Carlson step up and bolted down the ice. With a step on Carlson, Jakub Voracek hit Couturier in stride for the breakaway goal.
Less than two minutes after that, James van Riemsdyk deflected a floater past Holtby to make it 4-1.
The Caps have had a number of big comebacks this season, but there was no indication that there was any fight left in them for this game.
Throwing in the towel
The game was over entering the third period and Washington played like it. Horrible play by the Caps devolved even further and things got ugly. In the first 10 minutes of the third period, Washington did not get a single shot on goal, took three penalties and gave up three goals. That is not the play of a team that thought it could come back and win.
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