Is it us or have things been pretty dull around here since the Penguins left town on Sunday?
For the second straight game at Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers didnt play terribly entertaining hockey against a Southeast Division opponent, though their defense and goaltender were fairly sharp.
Such an overall letdown from last weekends thriller in Boston, plus the showdown here with Pittsburgh.
Games against the Washington Capitals used to be full out sprints. Not any more.
The Flyers won, 2-1, during yet another shootout, as scoring with the orange and black continues to draw unwanted attention. Wayne Simmonds got the shootout game-winner and Ilya Bryzgalov blocked Troy Brouwer's last shot to seal two points for the Flyers.
This one lacked for a lot of things, including score. It was a 1-1 affair from early in the second period and staying awake was a challenge.
The Flyers got a power play soon after a partial one for Washington expired to start the third period, but as has been the case lately, did nothing. They are now 2-for-their-last-20 in that department, a serious concern as we head down the stretch.
The game lacked for energy at times. It took until the final 7:19 of regulation before we saw a terrific, clean open ice hit when Matt Read decked Marcus Johansson, knocking his helmet off.
All the talk leading into this one was about the Flyers sleepy starts and that fact the opposition always scores first on them.
Well, status quo reigned here in the opening period as Alex Ovechkin, on a bit of tear lately with six goals in his last seven now, scored on the games first shot at 26 seconds.
Ilya Bryzgalov had a loose puck come sliding into the right crease and he shoved it back out, albeit right to Ovie, who circled into the slot and lifted it high over him.
Only twice now in the past 47 games have the Flyers led in the games first 10 minutes.
They had a chance to tie four minutes later shorthanded, but rookie goalie Braden Holtby made the save. Bryzgalov was pretty strong that power play with three straight saves or it would have been 2-0.
To say the Flyers were outplayed in the period would be an understatement.
The Flyers came into play with just 14 goals in their previous seven games. They had three scoring chances in the final three minutes of the period and couldnt dent Holtby.
Interesting that coach Peter Laviolette took three of his slumping players Danny Briere, Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds and put them all on one line. Laviolette changed three of his four lines for this game.
The Flyers' start in the second period was just as bad. Bryzgalov made a stop on a wide-open one-timer from Ovechkin at the start. Six minutes later, Keith Aucoin missed at one end and Jaromir Jagr took the puck from Andreas Lilja and hit Claude Giroux with a breakaway pass up the right side.
Giroux deftly cut right to center past Caps defenseman Dennis Wideman, drawing Holtby out, holding onto the puck until he committed, then wristed it into an open net for his 27th goal to tie the game.
It was Girouxs first goal in four games and Jagrs first point, as well.
I just tried to get some speed and get a breakaway, Giroux said. I was able to beat the guy wide and I wanted to make sure their goalie didn't touch the puck. It turned out
well for me.
In the periods final 7:02, Matt Carle hauled down Johansson from behind on a breakaway and was awarded a penalty shot.
Gotta hand it to Bryzgalov. Despite a nifty move from MJ90, he stayed with him and Johanssson ended up tripping over Bryzs stick without getting a shot off.
In the final minutes of the period, the Caps got an absurd power play when Johansson tripped over Giroux from behind.
So its Girouxs fault he doesnt have eyes behind his head? Fifty-six seconds of that penalty carried into the third period.