Capitals' third-period barrage overwhelms Flyers

Center Brayden Schenn , making his Flyers debut after being called up from Adirondack of the AHL, handles the puck.
Center Brayden Schenn , making his Flyers debut after being called up from Adirondack of the AHL, handles the puck.
Posted: October 21, 2011

The Flyers put five goals in the net in their early-season showdown with the Washington Capitals Thursday night at the Wells Fargo Center.

Unfortunately for the home team, three of them went into their own net.

Three Washington shots deflected off Flyers and went past goalie Ilya Bryzgalov in the unbeaten Capitals' 5-2 victory.

"Just one of those nights," Bryzgalov said with a sigh. "It was hitting our players and their players and going into the net. . . . Just the nature of the game sometimes. You have to accept it and work hard again and move forward. Just forget as soon as possible."

The Flyers, who host St. Louis on Saturday, slipped to 4-1-1 despite outshooting the Capitals, 42-28.

The Caps scored three goals in the first 4 minutes, 48 seconds of the third period, pulling away from a 2-1 lead. "We were playing pretty good, and all of a sudden, three quick goals and you're not there anymore," Bryzgalov said.

Washington, 6-0 for the first time in franchise history, got a pair of goals from Alex Ovechkin, who had just one goal in his first five games.

Tomas Vokoun (40 saves), the Capitals' new goalie, helped his team improve to 8-1-2 in its last 11 games at the Wells Fargo Center.

Washington was 1 for 6 on the power play.

"It ruined the flow of the bench," captain Chris Pronger said of the penalty kills.

Roman Hamrlik, Ovechkin, and Joel Ward scored goals early in the third period, turning a close, entertaining game into a rout. Hamrlik's goal deflected off defenseman Andreas Lilja, and Ovechkin's score appeared to carom off Max Talbot.

An earlier Washington goal deflected off the stick of Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn.

Deflections "are part of the game. We just as easily could have had deflections, too," Pronger said. "I think at the end of the day, you look at the game. Turnovers and penalties killed us. They ruined the flow of the game. They ruined the bench."

Trailing by 2-1, the Flyers dominated the second period. Most of the action was played in the Capitals' defensive end, but Vokoun didn't budge.

"We had a lot of offensive-zone time, but I think we can do a better job of getting to the net," coach Peter Laviolette said. "There were lots of shots, but we need to get in there and muck it up a little more in front of the goaltender."

Brayden Schenn, making his Flyers debut, played just 2 minutes, 48 seconds in the first period, but was much more involved in the second period. He centered Jakub Voracek and Scott Hartnell, and the line came close to scoring the equalizer on two great shifts toward the end of the period.

Schenn's arrival dropped Sean Couturier to the fourth line. Couturier played just 10:09 and scored the game's final goal.

The Flyers were having a nice, effective first period and seemed ready to go into the intermission with a lead, but then a Scott Hartnell's turnover led to a Mathieu Perreault goal. It was quickly followed by an Ovechkin score, giving the Caps a 2-1 lead.

The Flyers had taken a 1-0 lead when Claude Giroux scored on a breakaway while the teams were playing four on four. Giroux picked up a loose puck after Wayne Simmonds stripped it from Alexander Semin near the Flyers' defensive blue line. It was Giroux's fifth goal, and gave him goals in five of the six games.

That is a pace for 68 goals.

The Flyers had a slight territorial edge in the opening period, but it unraveled quickly as Hartnell, from along the right boards, tried to clear a puck out of his defensive zone toward the center of the ice.

Perreault intercepted, skated to the top of the right circle and fired a shot that deflected off the stick of Coburn and went just inside the right post, knotting the score at 1 with 1:20 left in the period.

With 12 seconds remaining in the period, Ovechkin scored on a juicy rebound to put the Caps ahead, 2-1.


Contact staff writer Sam Carchidi at scarchidiphillynews.com or @BroadStBull on Twitter.

 


 

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