Sunday night’s early evening game against the Flyers was full of opportunities for the Capitals to assert their dominance, but it was Philly that struck first. Nikolay Zherdev scored on the breakaway against Braden Holtby in his first NHL start. Holtby would block 23 of 25 and earn the second star tonight, including three beautiful back-to-back-to-back saves against a Flyers onslaught in the third period.
Eric Fehr and Alexander Semin would chalk up regulation goals in the first and the second for the Capitals, in an offensive performance that was mostly lackluster. The Caps would pepper Bobrovsky with 39 shots, striking just three times tonight. Worse were the missed connections from the Caps offense, which just couldn’t connect on the cross tonight, and had a number of difficulties clearing the puck.
The best chance for the Caps to finish off the Flyers came with 3:55 remaining in the third. Chris Pronger got booked on a double-minor for high-sticking, as he swatted defenseman Dave Steckel in the nose. The physical game was almost entirely in Philly’s corner tonight, with the Flyers outhitting the Caps 30-17, and that’s what got them into the situation that cost them the game. The Caps started overtime playing 5 on 3, and just 29 seconds into the period, Mike Green beat rookie minder Bobrovsky high on a laser shot to claim the victory.