The Washington Capitals’ rematch with the Philadelphia Flyers was very similar to the first, which is to say, not great.
Scott Luton hit a shot by Tony DeAngelo to put the Flyers up in the first, but Alex Ovechkin worked hard to put back a shot to end it in the first period. Philly got two in the second period, both due to defensive fumbles; one from James van Riemsdyk and the second from Wade Allison. The Caps played a really good third period, but Carter Hart wasn’t letting anything go.
Hats off! Flyers win both halves of home-and-home series
- Peter Laviolette scratched Dylan Strome, which was a confusing move. He separated Dowd and Hathaway, showing which is trivial is a bad idea. I think this head coach is at his best when he goes out of his way. He’s been very different lately. The starting lines had some glaring issues, most notably the Mantha-Dowd-Oshie clash before Allison’s goal.
- And yet, the line that struggled the most to keep up was the line that couldn’t be dealt with; Ovi line. And they still managed to score. Lines aren’t everything.
- I don’t know how often James van Riemsdyk scored against his brother Trevor van Riemsdyk and vice versa. That happened tonight when JvR turned off his masker just before receiving a pass from Owen Tippett. I’m sure someone somewhere has analyzed a decade of play-by-play data to identify xvR-vs-xvR goals and I’ll definitely be stealing that guy’s stats when they come up. Here’s a game of cloaking that you’d think would be illegal. You can’t afford to be invisible to the defense until you land the hit.
James van Riemsdyk is open to putting flyers up top. 😅 pic.twitter.com/txRjQMHUrK
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) January 15, 2023
- JVR’s field goal was the first of two in a 50-second span, both after a fumble in Washington’s own zone.
- After a three game slump, Alex Ovechkin scored his 30th goal of the season. I love that it was a greasy game, a backhand that came with a rebound where Ovi was denied a try. That makes 2022-23 his 17th season with at least 30 goals, tied for the NHL record. He is on pace for 54 goals.
- Lars Eller Brought on a journey I can’t think of in my head. The friend jumped up and landed on Eller’s stick in place of a regular stick. The Flyers scored immediately on a safety play. Unfortunate.
- Not our game, but check out the ongoing fiasco that is digital billboard ads. (seizure warning)
I’m so tired of digital billboard ads pic.twitter.com/00NUki8FD7
— ًًً (@twistedleafs) January 15, 2023
- Removal of two consecutive healthy scratches, Anthony Mantha is back to work. I was sure he would feel compelled to fight. He didn’t, and that’s okay, even if it ruined my stain. I think Manta’s position in the lineup and on the roster remains insignificant.
- I thought Nick Backstrom was pretty good, which is probably the most important takeaway of the night. He is still under normal load.
Checkered three piece #joebsuitofthenight pic.twitter.com/NBqHTsx8iG
— good tweet Pete 🌮 (@peterhassett) January 14, 2023
After all, I guess a Philadelphia goaltender Carter Hart stole this one.
Backstrom and Wilson’s wonderful comeback story aside, it’s been a really tough week for Capitals hockey. Two straight losses to lower division opposition in which they were at least somewhat outplayed. I’m asking them to wise up before Monday’s visit to Long Island.
Header photo. @TheMSRP