In a physical opening contest, the Washington Capitals defeat the Philadelphia Flyers on Thursday night at the Verizon Center, 2-0. The Capitals will take a 1-0 series as a result, but for the Flyers, I think they can be pleased with their effort at even strength. With that said, the game was won and loss on special teams, where Washington took over the contest. Early powerplay opportunities fell by the wayside for the Flyers and had they been able to come through on at least one of them, they could have swing the game in their favor.The Flyers really struggled to get quality looks at the net in this one as the Capitals put up a fortress around Holtby. Much to their credit, the Caps kept the Flyers to the outside and Philly got a taste of just how good the President Trophy winners are defensively. Philadelphia was only able to muster up 19 shots for the game and they will need to generate much more attack than that to compete in this series. As far as the Flyers ineptitude on the powerplay goes, the club really needs to start looking to make adjustments with the first unit. Giroux is getting smothered along the left boards and the Capitals did nothing to respect the other players on the unit. They’ll need that to change moving forward.
Losing goaltender Steve Mason turned in an impressive performance in the loss as he made 29 saves. Both goals that beat Mason would have been extraordinary stops even for him, but I think the more telling thing about the goaltender’s outing was that he did not look fatigued in the slightest. This will be extremely important to the Flyers’ playoff hopes if they are to get an opportunity to even the series tomorrow night.
Here is your game notable:
According to Post Game Live, Sean Couturier is done for the series with an AC sprain after taing a heavy hit from Alex Ovechkin. As of today, Ron Hextall confirmed this and Scott Laughton is expected to draw in the lineup and take his place.