The first game in eight days (and the last one before the All-Star Break) for the Washington Capitals came when the Philadelphia Flyers took a trip to the Nations’s Capital for a Wednesday Night Rivalry game. Capitals defenseman John Carlson was back in the lineup, after missing 12 consecutive games.
Also, defenseman Karl Alzner played in his 423rd consecutive game setting a new franchise record passing Bob Carpenter.
Former Capital goaltender Michal Neuvirth started his first game against the Caps since his departure.
First Period: Rust
The period started with a little scuffle in the corner and 4:48 into the game, Capital Tom Wilson headed to the penalty box for interference. Six seconds into the penalty kill, Flyer Brayden Schenn scored his 12th of the season. After a giveaway from Evgeny Kuznetov, Ryan White scored his fifth of the season to double the Flyers lead 2-0.
- Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth with a save on Tom Wilson for the Caps 3rd SOG with 6:30 left in the first.
- Flyers were given a penalty for too many man on the ice and Capitals get their first power play of the game 16:33 into the first. Matt Niskanen was then handed a tripping penalty on Flyers RJ Umberger.
- End of the first, Capitals trailed the Flyers 2-0 and were outshot 12-6.
Second period: The Swede Goals
The Capitals got all of their rust out during the first. They killed off the remaining time on Niskanen’s tripping penalty and started to test former teammate Michal Neuvirth in the Flyers net. Then something Swede happened in the span of 55 seconds. Andre Burakovksy scored his sixth of the season 7:39 into the second and then Nicklas Backstrom scored his 16th of the season 8:34 into the period. The Capitals controlled most of the second period tying up the game.
- Flyer Jakub Voracek scored off the faceoff and the Flyers regained their lead, 3-2. Fans viewing felt the officiating in this game was one-sided to say the least.
- Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby had two penalties (tripping and delay of game) in the same period. Those were his first penalties of the season.
- Capitals trailed Flyers 3-2 after 2 periods.
Third period: Two for Andre and Calls of Terrible Officiating
Sweet Swede Andre Burakovsky scored again, his seventh of the season, 3:55 into the third period. It’s safe to say that his “sophomore slump” is over. We think he and Kuznetsov are going to be fun to watch for years to come.
- Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin was called for hooking and the Capitals penalty kill was successful once again.
- The Capitals get their second power play of the night with 2:02 left thanks to a hooking call on Matt Read.
- End of regulation tied 3-3
Overtime: 38 Seconds and Done
Flyer Jakub Voracek scored his eighth of the season after Caps goaltender Braden Holtby lost his stick 38 seconds into the extra period. Capitals lose 4-3 and collect one point. The Capitals home winning streak was snapped at 12, just one shy of a franchise record.
Positive things to think about: The Capitals still sit in first overall place in the league (35-8-4, 74 points). Capitals fans can see Nicklas Backstrom, Braden Holtby and Coach Trotz in the All-Star Game on Sunday as a part of the Metropolitan division team.
Unfortunately, Alex Ovechkin will sit out the All-Star Game due to a lower body injury that the team would rather he rest during this time off. Pulling out of the festivities will result in a one game suspension. This means when the Florida Panthers visit DC Tuesday, Captain Alex Ovechkin will not be in the lineup. Oh, and Marcus Johansson left the game with an injury–no details available.
The Capitals will not practice at Kettler until Monday, February 1, at 2:15pm.
The next game is Tuesday, February 2 against the Florida Panthers at 7pm at Verizon Center.