The Philadelphia Flyers were in a close contest until Tom Wilson charged Brayden Schenn in the second period, as the Orange and Black beat the visiting Washington Capitals 5-2. Jakub Voracek had two goals and Kimmo Timonen had two assists, while Matt Read had one of each in the Flyers’ big win at home.
Steve Mason registered the win tonight with 23 saves on 25 shots against, as only Alex Ovechkin and Eric Fehr were the only Caps to deposit the puck in the cage. Braden Holtby had a rough tilt, as he allowed five goals on 35 shots against.
It was a 2-2 game late in the second period when Wilson nailed Schenn in the corner to Mason’s right. The younger Schenn may have been at fault for putting himself in a vulnerable position near the boards, but Wilson’s decision to build up his check from a distance and blast the forward made it a dirty hit. Both teams suffered from the incident, as Schenn left the game and seems likely to miss time, while the ensuing five-minute major for Wilson essentially handed the contest to Philly.
Whether the hit dictated the game or not, there were plenty of positives for the Flyers to take away from their win. For one, they didn’t blow the multi-goal lead late in the game again. Another positive was the defense’s ability to join the play in the offensive zone and contribute to the team’s scoring. Along with Timonen, the trio of Nicklas Grossmann, Braydon Coburn, and Erik Gustafsson each contributed a helper. Mark Streit also had one of the Orange and Black’s two goals on the noteworthy man advantage.
As for the younger Schenn, he helped to form arguably the team’s best line in the victory, as Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds provided Philly’s best offensive chances early in the game and eventually potted one late. For as much recognition the first and third lines have been getting, it was nice to see the second line produce a blue-collar effort that helped the team to a pair of points.
In net, Mason made a few crucial saves in the first two periods to allow the offense to break out in the game’s final 25 minutes. Two of his better saves of the night came when he stuffed Nicklas Backstrom on a rebound attempt in the opening stanza and when he denied Marcus Johansson point blank later in the game.
After the first period failed to produce the game’s first goal, Ovechkin potted the contest’s first tally on a power-play bid. A shot from Backstrom was blocked by Grossmann in the slot, but the blue liner struggled to clear the disc out from his feet. Mason attempted to cover the puck, but fumbled it towards Ovechkin at the right side of the net, who backhanded home his 28th of the year 40 seconds into the middle frame.
The lead didn’t last long, as Voracek ripped one past Holtby 58 seconds later to even the score. An outlet pass from Coburn started a 2-on-1 led by Voracek, who let go of a wrist shot from the dot to Holtby’s left that beat the goalie’s blocker and leg pad.
Less than four minutes after Voracek’s goal, Fehr beat Mason’s glove after Troy Brouwer beat out an icing call and set up the forward for his fifth tally of the season. Later on in the frame, the Flyers’ third line responded, as Read put home a rebound for his 10th of the year.
Shortly after Read’s goal, Wilson charged Schenn in the corner to Mason’s right. Schenn picked up the puck in the corner and was attempting to turn clockwise when Wilson flew into him. Schenn nailed the boards and a scrum ensued after the hit, as Wilson earned majors for charging and fighting. Wilson also earned a game misconduct, as Grossmann earned a fighting major and the tandem of Fehr and Hartnell were handed roughing minors.
A Streit blast from the point and a Voracek wrist shot from the slot beat Holtby to hand the hosts a two-goal lead heading into the final period.
Simmonds finalized the score with great hustle on a play to beat Holtby’s poke-check attempt on a loose puck in the slot.
The Flyers look to continue their hot streak at the Wells Fargo Center on Thursday, as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Notes: With the win tonight, the Flyers have won seven straight home games. They are currently on a three-game point streak (2-0-1)…Giroux extended his point streak to four games tonight with an assist. He has two goals and four assists during the streak…Grossmann ended a 13-game point drought with an assist tonight. Simmonds ended his 10-game goal drought…With the secondary assist on Streit’s goal, Chris VandeVelde recorded his first point as a Flyer. His last point in the NHL came for the Edmonton Oilers on March 25th, 2012, as he scored a goal on Steve Mason..Ovechkin’s goal in the second period extended his goal streak to three games against the Flyers. It also puts him one goal from 400 in the NHL…Tonight marked the sixth time all season the Flyers scored five goals in a game and the seventh time they won by a margin of three goals or more…Philly improved to 1-1-1 against the Caps this season. They are now 12-9-3 against the Eastern Conference and 6-4-2 against the Metropolitan Division…The Flyers improved to 15-15-4 on the year. They were 14-17-3 after 34 games last season.