Playoff hockey time! The Presidents’ Trophy winning Washington Capitals went to battle with the 2nd Wild Card Philadelphia Flyers. The game began with a moment of silence for the passing of late Flyers owner Ed Snider.
First Period: Too Many Penalties
The Capitals and Flyers started their first playoff series in eight years. The theme throughout the first period was that the Capitals were shorthanded too often. Defensemen John Carlson (hooking) and Brooks Orpik (illegal hit to the head and interference) each spent time in the penalty box. Thankfully, the penalty kill and Braden Holtby were successful at keeping the Flyers off the board. The teams were scoreless after the first period.
Second Period: Captain America gets it Started!
Evgeny Kuznetsov blocked a shot with his ankle less than three minutes into the second. The Caps’ power play did everything but score on their first opportunity. Halfway through the period, the Flyers did not have a shot on goal in the second. The Caps went on the penalty kill for the fourth time and were successful. Just 19 seconds into the Capitals’ third power play, John Carlson scored the first goal of the series. Marcus Johansson and T.J. Oshie collected the assists on Carlson’s goal. The Caps lead 1-0 after two periods of hockey.
Third Period: Beagle Seals the Win!
The Capitals went on the power play less than three minutes into the period after there were too many Flyers on the ice. Sam Gagner got assessed a double minor for hi-sticking Brooks Orpik but the Caps were unable to get an insurance goal on the extended power play. Brayden Schenn cleaned out Mike Richards but no call. Tom Wilson and Wayne Simmonds dropped the gloves with less than seven minutes left in regulation. With 3:24 left in regulation, Jay Beagle double the Caps’ lead. Johansson had his second assist of the night on Beagle’s fourth career playoff goal. The Capitals defeat the Flyers, 2-0, and Holtby’s third playoff shutout. One down, 15 to go.
As expected, a Capitals and Flyers series is fueled by the rivalry and is incredibly physical.
Practice: The Capitals are scheduled to practice at 11:30am at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday.
Game: Game Two is on Saturday at 7pm at Verizon Center.