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Burakovsky scores, but Caps fall in shootout to Flyers

Burakovsky scores, but Caps fall in shootout to Flyers

PHILADELPHIA— Andre Burakovsky scored his first goal in 27 games and helped set up another for the Capitals, but it wasn’t to prevent the visitors from falling to the Flyers, 3-2, in a shootout at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday night.

How it happened: Lars Eller, with some help from Burakovsky, scored his third goal of the season midway through the second period to put the Caps ahead 2-1. The visitors held that lead until the final seconds of the middle frame, when an Evgeny Kuznetsov turnover landed squarely on the stick of Flyers captain Claude Giroux, who ripped a wrist shot past Braden Holtby to send the game into the third period knotted 2-2.

The Caps were gifted a chance with 1:48 remaining in regulation when they were awarded their first power play of the night. But they mustered only one shot—by Alex Ovechkin—and the game went to overtime, which didn’t settle anything, either.

As a result, one of the season’s most exciting games of the season was settled by a skills competition. Wayne Simmonds was credited with the winner.

What it means: The Caps arrived on Broad Street trailing the Flyers by a single standings point in the jammed-up, ultra-competitive Metro Division. They left trailing by two points.  

Bura’s back: No one on the Caps needed a goal more than Burakovsky, who had been scratched the previous three games for his lack of goal production. That slump, however, ended emphatically with 1:36 remaining in the first, when the 21-year-old winger cradled a slick pass from Dmitry Orlov and then sent a blistering wrister over Steve Mason’s blocker to open the scoring. Even before Burakosky broke through on the score sheet, he had been one of the Caps’ best players, backchecking with vigor and making plays in the offensive end.   

Game of inches: Confusion reigned inside Wells Fargo Center for a few moments early in the second period. The horn sounded. The goal light came on. The capacity crowd erupted. But the refs needed a second look on video review. Michael Raffl’s wraparound attempt hit Holtby’s outstretched stick and flipped up into the air. Just as it crossed the goal line, Carlson used his stick to bat the puck out of midair and away from the cage. Unfortunately for the Caps, though, the puck had already crossed the goal line by a few inches prior to Carlson’s effort. Following a brief review, the correct call was made. Raffl’s seventh goal knotted the game 1-1.

Makin’ a killing: The Flyers’ power play came into the game without a goal in four straight games, but the unit still ranked fifth overall in the NHL. Well, the Caps’ penalty killers made sure it stayed cold. The Flyers did not register a single shot on net with the man advantage.

Makin’ their case: Barry Trotz has made no secret of the fact that he’s still searching for the right mix on the third line. And although it was just one performance, it would seem that the trio of Burakovsky, Eller and Vrana have entered the conversation after a particularly strong night Wednesday. The line combined for two goals, four points and eight shots on goal.

Look ahead: The Caps have 12:30 practice Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. They host the Lightning on Friday. The Bolts are 3-7-2 in their last 12 games and will be playing the back half of a back-to-back after entertaining the Blues on Thursday night. No games are scheduled league-wide Saturday-Monday in observance of Christmas.   

RELATED: Joe Biden in attendance at Caps-Flyers game

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T.J. Oshie likes his chances if given the opportunity to hit a penalty shot to win the Stanley Cup

T.J. Oshie likes his chances if given the opportunity to hit a penalty shot to win the Stanley Cup

T..J Oshie has some experience in clutch moments when the game is on the line and his name is called.

Thursday, his name wasn't listed in a hypothetical poll on Twitter on which player fans would want to take the final shot if the Stanley Cup was on the line. A shocking omission of one of the most legendary shootout players of all-time.

Even with options such as Alex Ovechkin, Connor McDavid, Sidney Crosby, and Patrick Kane, No. 77 insinuated he had a different player in mind.

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Oshie single-handedly defeated Russia at the 2014 Olympic Games in Sochi over six years ago.

Six times Oshie was sent to the ice in a shootout in a preliminary round match against Russia. He answered the bell four times for another legendary U.S. win over Russia.

Oshie has the fourth-most shootout goals (45) in NHL history, only trailing Kane, (47), Frans Nielsen (49), and Jonathan Toews (50).

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Alex Ovechkin among players contributing to CCM Hockey's donation of surgical masks

Alex Ovechkin among players contributing to CCM Hockey's donation of surgical masks

With surgical masks in short supply because of the coronavirus pandemic, different companies are stepping up to provide masks to the people who need them the most, the healthcare workers. CCM Hockey is among those companies and announced on Wednesday that they will be donating 500,000 surgical masks to healthcare workers.

Several NHL stars are contributing to the donation including Alex Ovechkin.

“By teaming up with our roster of CCM athletes, we will be able to play a role in the collaborative effort to get past this crisis,” CCM CEO Rick Blackshaw said in a statement on their website. “We focused on the best use of our network and our resources to have the quickest impact. Sourcing greatly needed equipment through our established supply chain partners in Asia is the most efficient way for us to support and keep our real heroes safe."

Ovechkin is listed among the players who contributed to the CCM donation.

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The other players listed are Mat Barzal, Patrice Bergeron, Brock Boeser, Dani Cameranesi, Brandon Carlo, Thomas Chabot, Kendall Coyne Schofield, Sidney Crosby, Melodie Daoust, Alex Debrincat, Brianna Decker, Matt Duchene, Matt Dumba, Marc-Andre Fleury, Filip Forsberg, Jake Gardiner, Miro Heiskanen, Filip Hronek, Jonathan Huberdeau, Seth Jones, Nathan Mackinnon, Charlie McAvoy, Connor McDavid, Artemi Panarin, Carey Price, Vladimir Tarasenko, and John Tavares.

“The CCM Pros are men and women of action," Blackshaw said. "It troubles them to feel helpless as they witness the devastating effects of this pandemic. At the core of this great sport, hockey is about courage, commitment to a higher goal, as well as to one another. It is exactly these player qualities and beliefs that will allow us to emerge stronger from this challenge.”

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