A five-minute major and ensuing power play was a game changer for the Flyers on Tuesday night in the back end of their home-and-home engagement against the Washington Capitals.
Two power-play goals saw them turn a 2-2 tie into a two-goal lead during the Flyers' 5-2 victory at Wells Fargo Center that drew Craig Berube’s team to within one point of a playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Matt Read’s team-high 10th goal at 11:54 of the second period drew the Flyers even at 2-2.
That set up the game’s turning point.
The Flyers were awarded a five-minute power play after Tom Wilson’s charging call against Brayden Schenn (see 10 observations).
The Flyers scored twice on that lengthy man-advantage with Mark Streit drilling one from the point and then Jakub Voracek potting his second goal of the night for a 4-2 lead.
Prior to all that, the Flyers were sloppy starting that period and paid for it as the Caps scored twice.
First, goalie Steve Mason let a rebound elude his glove hand on the ice for an easy 28th goal by Alex Ovechkin during a power play.
Then, minutes later, after Voracek had made it a 1-1 game, the Flyers' top line came down ice with all eyes on Troy Brouwer going into the corner for a puck.
Three different Flyers failed to realize that Eric Fehr was the trail man while he banged home a bad goal shortside on Mason for a 2-1 Caps lead.
Things would change soon after.
Schenn likely was concussed after being slammed head first into the back boards by Wilson, who accelerated into his second-period hit as Schenn turned toward the boards. Schenn struggled to his feet, then collapsed and had to be assisted off the ice. Wilson drew a five-minute major for the hit (see video).
Claude Giroux drew a minor penalty when Fehr drilled him in the chin for a roughing call in the first period. The hit also pinned Giroux’s right shoulder on the boards, too. The puck was long gone when Giroux got hit. Hence the penalty. Needless to say, any high hit is something to watch for the remainder of the week.
Scott Hartnell had one early and was denied by Caps goalie Braden Holtby. Hartnell felt he was interfered with from behind.
Streit drilled one off the right post during the Flyers' only power play in the first period while Holtby got his stick on Giroux’s open shot in the right slot. Then the Flyers scored twice off that five-minute major. They were 2 for 5 in the game. The Caps were 1 for 2.
Mason had several outstanding saves from five or six feet in the slot in the opening period on Nick Backstrom and Marcus Johansson, plus a point-shot save on Mike Green two seconds before Backstrom’s rebound.
Mason mishandled a shot from Backstrom during the Caps’ carryover power play in the second period and Ovechkin had an easy goal in the paint. Mason’s mishandle of a clearing pass led to Ovie’s game-tying goal Sunday that sent the game into overtime.
Big glove save
By Mason on John Carlson late in the game.
Ovechkin had just two shots through two periods. Sean Couturier’s line matched up against him most of the game. Ovie finished with one goal for his lone point of the game.
Chris VandeVelde picked up his first point as a Flyer (fourth overall in NHL) on Streit’s power-play goal with an assist.
Two scouts from the Montreal Canadiens were on hand for this game, including assistant general manager Rich Dudley. One scout was from Winnipeg.
Nothing new here. Defensemen Hal Gill and Andrej Meszaros; forward Jay Rosehill. Forward Vinny Lecavalier (back injury) was the only injured scratch.
Adam Hall decisioned Aaron Volpatti, who is a pretty good fighter in the second period. Nick Grossmann and Wilson fought to a draw when Grossmann went after the Caps’ winger for his hit on Schenn.