November 18, 2018

Washington Capitals Game 47 Recap: Rusty Caps downed by Flyers in overtime

OVECHKIN TO MISS NHL ALL-STAR GAME WITH LOWER-BODY INJURY

Hello Neuvy. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Hello Neuvy. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Jakob Voracek’s second goal of the game came in overtime, lifting the Philadelphia Flyers over the Washington Capitals 4-3, in the Caps first game in what feels like weeks.

After the game, the team announced that Alex Ovechkin, elected as captain of the Metropolitan Division in the upcoming All-Star Game, will miss the event due to a lower-body injury. Buy rule, he’s required now to sit out the Caps’ first game after the break,  Feb. 2 against Florida.

The Caps (35-8-4, 74 points), befitting of all their time off lately due to snow cancellations, were rusty for a lot of the game. And it showed, big time.

On the game-winner, Voracek collected a loose puck behind the net, played keepaway from Evgeny Kuznetsov until he could maneuver to in front of the net, spun Kuznetsov so he could get the puck on the forehand, and whipped it past Braden Holtby for the winner.

That’s how it ended. As for how it started, well, slow only begins to describe it.

An interference penalty on Tom Wilson gave the Flyers an upper hand less than five minutes in, and they took advantage, as Brayden Schenn notched his 12th of the year, beating Karl Alzner to the slot for a snap-shot.

Five minutes later, a rare mistake by Kuznetsov — a back-handed clearing attempt through the defensive slot — resulted in Ryan White’s unassisted goal, and the Caps were down 2-0.

The home team found its footing in the second period. A turnover by the Flyers in their end gave Andre Burakovsky the puck in the high slot, and his wrister from long-distance fooled former Caps goalie Michal Neuvirth to halve the deficit at 7:39.

Less than a minute later, Nick Backstrom tied it up, taking a sweet delayed cross-ice pass from T.J. Oshie and roofing it past Neuvirth.

The Flyers then got a weird one a few minutes before the second intermission. Claude Giroux won an offensive zone faceoff to Jakob Voracek, and his innocent-looking wrist shot went through a maze of traffic and past Braden Holtby (28 saves), without so much as s flinch by Holtby.

The Caps evened it again early in the third. They took advantage of another Flyers defensive turnover, with Kuznetsov corralling a loose puck and feeding the streaking Burakovsky, who finished the backhand pass into a mostly open net.

Despite several good chances through the third, the Caps couldn’t find the game-winner in regulation, and overtime provided the heartbreak.

CAPS NOTES:

  • Karl Alzner played in his 423rd consecutive game tonight, passing Bob Carpenter (422) for the longest consecutive games played streak in franchise history. Alzner’s streak of 423 consecutive games played is the sixth-longest consecutive games played streak by an NHL defenseman since 1943-44.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov tallied an assist and has earned a point in three straight games. In addition, he has registered 12 points in his last six games.
  • Andre Burakovsky had his first multi-goal game of the season and second of his career. It was his fourth multi-point game in his last six games.
  • The Caps lost at home for the first time since Nov. 19.

NEXT GAME: Caps are off through the All-Star break until Feb. 2 when they host the Florida Panthers at 7:30 p.m.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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