The Capitals' Michael Latta falls on Zac Rinaldo during their fight in the second period on Sunday. (AP)
WASHINGTON -- They had it won.
And then the Flyers -- and Steve Mason -- let it slip away.
The Flyers gave up three goals in the final nine minutes of the third period and proceeded to lose the Capitals, 5-4, in a shootout Sunday.
The killer goal came in regulation when Mason muffed a clearing attempt behind his net and Alex Ovechkin deposited the mistake, tying the game, 4-4, with 47.9 seconds left in regulation.
That was a horrific mistake that Capped off Washington’s furious comeback and eventually sent the game to a shootout, where the Flyers are now 1-3 this season.
On the first attempt of the shootout, Mason appeared to stop Washington's Eric Fehr, but Fehr's shot slipped through the goalie's pads and crossed the goal line before Mason could fish it out of the net.
Giroux evened the shootout, 1-1, but Nicklas Backstrom won it on Washington's final attempt. Matt Read and Sean Couturier both failed to score in the shootout.
The loss dropped Craig Berube's club to 14-15-4 this season as the club failed in its latest attempt to get back to .500.
It was a nip ‘n tuck 2-1 game until the first Couturier and Jake Voracek scored goals with 74 seconds of one another, 2:18 and 3:32 into the third period, to give the Flyers a three-goal cushion.
Then the wheels came off.
Mike Green made it 4-2, Dmitry Orlov made it 4-3 with 3:31 left when Flyers defenseman Nick Grossmann accidentally screened goalie Steve Mason on Orlov’s shot from distance, and Ovechkin scored his league-leading 27th goal with 48 seconds remaining in regulation Mason's failed clear.
A difficult close for the Flyers' most productive player so far this season.
Brayden Schenn took a hard hit from Ovechkin early in the game, took medical treatment on the bench, but returned shortly after.
Flyers got hit with yet two more dreaded delay of game calls. They now have 10 such penalties this season.
Great saves from Grubauer
Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer had two during a second-period Flyers power play, denying Voracek in the slot, then going post-to-post to rob Couturier. Steve Mason had a stop on Troy Brouwer’s open lane to the middle that same period and then on Mike Green’s slapper in the third period.
Caps coach Adam Oates elected to go with the rookie, Grubauer, in goal over Braden Holtby, because he felt that Grubauer’s recent efforts in net warranted another start. Grubauer came in with 2-0-1 record, 1.52 goals against average and an impressive .957 save percentage. He stopped 24 of 28 shots.
Mason stopped 29 of 33.
Raffl heating up
Michael Raffl assisted three of the Flyers' four goals. He appeared to score in the third but his goal was later credited to Voracek. Raffl has seven points in his last four games.
The Flyers top line of Raffl, Voracek and Giroux combined for six points with two goals and four assists.
The Flyers were 0 for 4 on the power play and the Caps were 1 for 5.
Zac Rinaldo and Michael Latta fought to a second-period draw. Wayne Simmonds won his bout with Steve Oleksy in the third period. Apparently, Berube wasn’t worried about any carryover from the 7-0 debacle because he didn’t dress enforcer Jay Rosehill.
Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek and Washington’s Troy Bouwer all played their 400th NHL games, a triple treat.
Defenseman Mark Streit ripped one off the rush past Grubauer in the second period to give the Flyers a 2-1 lead. It was his 300th career NHL point.
No lineup changes for Flyers. Vinny Lecavalier is still out with an injured back. Defensemen Hal Gill and Andrej Meszaros and forward Jay Rosehill all were healthy.
Couturier has as many goals this season -- 6 -- as Voracek.
Flyers came into the game having lost three straight games on the road in which they were outscored 9-1 in the middle period. … The Flyers are also a mediocre 6-8-4 on the road this season. … Flyers were four points out of a playoff berth when the game began, having lost ground this weekend by not playing. With the OT loss, they only made up a point on second-place Washington in the Metropolitan Divison.