Flyers roar back to beat Capitals in overtime

Wearing their Easter ears, two fans enjoy an up-close look as the Flyers fight with the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center.
Wearing their Easter ears, two fans enjoy an up-close look as the Flyers fight with the Washington Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center. (   RON CORTES / Staff Photographer)
Posted: April 02, 2013

Jake Voracek won a third-period fight, but the Flyers appeared to have lost the war Sunday night.

That was before they made a remarkable comeback, scoring two goals in the final 7 minutes, 12 seconds of regulation - including Kimmo Timonen's tally with 9.5 seconds to go - en route to a stunning, 5-4 overtime win over the Washington Capitals in front of a sellout crowd at the reverberating Wells Fargo Center.

Ruslan Fedotenko tapped in Timonen's pass 1:34 into overtime for the win. Claude Giroux engineered the comeback with a power-play goal and a relentless shift that set up Timonen's tying score, after which the little Finn leaped toward the rafters as the puck kissed the back of the net.

Suddenly, the Flyers are smack in the middle of an intriguing playoff hunt.

"It's up to us in here to build from this," defenseman Kent Huskins said after making his Flyers debut. "Emotional wins like this kind of build the team character and chemistry."

The stunning turnaround moved the Flyers to within two points of the eighth-place New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers have 13 games remaining.

"It's obviously a big win," said goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, whose team has gained five points in the playoff race in the last three games. "Seems like we're having fun on the ice - we're not holding the sticks so tight right now."

Voracek pounded Steve Oleksy early in the third period, but received two additional minor penalties - fighting with a visor, and instigating the bout - and Washington capitalized with a pair of power-play goals to take a seemingly insurmountable 4-2 lead.

With Voracek in the penalty box and about 15 minutes left in regulation, Marcus Johansson (converting a Giroux turnover) and Alex Ovechkin scored goals 26 seconds apart to snap a 2-2 tie.

"When they got those two goals, it wasn't a good feeling," Voracek said.

Voracek got into his first NHL fight because Oleksy had gone after Giroux.

"I'm really proud of Jake and what he did," said Timonen, who had the fifth four-point game of his career.

Giroux made amends for his miscue by slicing the deficit to 4-3 when he scored a power-play goal with 7:12 remaining. He then set up Timonen's goal that forced overtime.

After his turnover led to Washington's goal, Giroux was seething.

"He was pretty mad on the bench," Matt Read said after scoring a breakaway goal in the second straight game. "I was trying to talk to him, and he just ignored me and put his head down. You could tell his next shift was going to be his best shift of the game and go from there."

Giroux (three points) dominated the rest of the game.

"He's one of those guys who wants to make a difference," coach Peter Laviolette said. "I like the fact he goes on the ice and asserts himself the way he does when you need to turn the game into a different direction."

The Flyers climbed into 12th place in the East.

"We're not in the playoffs, so we can enjoy tonight, but then we have to move on and focus on Wednesday and Montreal," Timonen said.


The Eastern Conference Race

The top eight finishers make the playoffs.

Team Points

1. Penguins* 56

2. Canadiens* 49

3. Jets* 38

4. Bruins 48

5. Senators 44

6. Maple Leafs 44

7. Devils 39

8. Rangers 35

Islanders 35

Hurricanes 34

Capitals 34

Flyers 33

Sabres 32

Lightning 31

*-Division leader.


Contact Sam Carchidi at scarchidi@phillynews.com.

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