Capitals fall behind early, lose 2-1 to Flyers


The omen for the Capitals on Saturday in Philadelphia was set 11 seconds into the afternoon. 

They fell behind after a Claude Giroux goal on the opening shift and never took the lead, or even tied the game, in a 2-1 loss to the Flyers at Wells Fargo Center. The final 40 minutes were controlled by the Capitals, but it wasn't enough.

The Capitals are now 28-17-9 on the season with the Maple Leafs up next on Monday.

Here are a few takeaways from the afternoon in Philadelphia:

It's (Not) Always Sunny In Philadelphia

The Capitals entered Saturday's game having won five consecutive road wins in Philadelphia, but had that streak snapped despite a wave of offensive pressure in the final 40 minutes. Flyers netminder Carter Hart stood tall and stopped 27 of the Capitals' 28 shots.

The Flyers opened the scoring early and dominated the first 20 minutes in every facet of the game. It turned out to be all they needed to beat the Capitals. 

Washington pressed, and hard, in the final two periods — specifically in the final 30 minutes — but it couldn't generate enough offense to tie the game at even strength. 

11 seconds for (nearly) 33 years

It took all of 11 seconds for the Capitals to put themselves in a hole. 

Giroux's goal on the first shift of the game ending any hope for a quick start for Washington. It was the Flyers’ fastest goal scored to start a game in nearly 33 years. 

The Capitals then didn’t score on a power play opportunity beginning at the 30 second-mark, as their first period started and ended in disaster.


Welcome back, T.J. 

The Capitals have missed T.J. Oshie both off and on the ice this season, and Saturday, they got a look as to what they’ve been missing. 

Oshie, in just his 20th game of the season, scored on the power play to cut the Flyers lead to 2-1 in the second period. It was a vintage Oshie goal, as he took his spot at the center of the team’s top power play and fired a shot to the roof. 

Washington’s power play hasn’t been good so far this season, certainly due to some of the absences they’ve had, and Oshie’s return should mean good things for the struggling man-advantage.

Offense struggles again

The Capitals have come back from their long break with a thud. 

In losses to the Flyers and New York Rangers, they have scored just two goals — one of which was Oshie's power play goal, and the other was from Alex Ovechkin the dying seconds of Thursday's loss to the Rangers in a 4-1 loss.

Through 120 minutes of game time since returning from a week off, they've scored just one five-on-five goal.

No Schultz; Kempny draws in

Justin Schultz wasn’t in the lineup for the Capitals, as Michal Kempny took his spot in the lineup on the back-end for Saturday afternoon. 

Schultz took a maintenance day Friday and was on the ice for pregame warmup, but didn’t dress. The Capitals moved Trevor van Riemsdyk over to the right side and Kempny paired with him on the third pairing. 

It’s unclear if Schultz will miss time moving forward, but for a team that has been plagued by injuries all season long, any absences are clearly problematic.