After last night’s rapid turn of events, the Philadelphia Flyers now have 2 dramatic losses to the Washington Capitals. The first loss being back on November 1st, when the frustration of a 0-7 game sparked a line brawl and a beating from Goaltender Ray Emery to Caps Goaltender Braden Holtby that he will never forget. Now the teams are set to face off again on Tuesday, this time on Philadelphia home ice, but will there be a different outcome?
Yesterday the two teams took the ice, and were looking a little different than they did back on November 1st. Both teams had different goaltenders in net. Steve “magic mitts” Mason, who has been exceptional, was in between the pipes for the Flyers. And, fresh out of the American Hockey League the rookie Philipp Grubauer, who’s sprawling saves have been wooing Caps fans everywhere, was posted up in goal. Although the goaltender fight from last month’s game might have been in the back of their minds, I don’t think that there was much fear of Mason skating the length of the ice to fight the rookie Grubauer.
With the constant changes happening in the Capitals organization there was a surprise appearance from Michael Latta last night. This isn’t his first appearance in Washington, the young centerman has been back and forth between Hershey and Washington several times this season. Less than 24 hours before the Capitals faced the Flyers, Latta was in Hershey suiting up against the Binghamton Senators. Latta had a knock out fight during that game in Hershey than packed up and headed to Washington, where troublemaker Zac Rinaldo dropped the gloves and went a round with the young scrapper.
Two guys that helped keep the Capitals on top last night were Grubauer and lethal number 8, Alex Ovechkin. Grubauer once again dazzled and impressed in goal for the Capitals as he was calm and composed in the net, appearing to be more of a veteran than a rookie. But, that could be because he has already guarded the Capitals goal through 3 shootouts in his short tenure with the Capitals this season. Late, in the third period the Capitals took Grubauer out to add an extra player, that extra player was Ovechkin who is always a dangerous force on the ice. With less than a minute left in the game Ovechkin sprung off the bench, netting the equalizer and taking this game into overtime. Ovechkin, who is always dangerous when out on the ice broke through his scoring drought last night and lead the Capitals to victory during the shootout.
The Philadelphia Flyers put in a partial effort last night, as they controlled 2 ½ periods of the contest. Claude Giroux came through with a goal, only his 7th of the season and their rookie, who has been hot on the ice for the Flyers, Michael Raffl was on hand to make plays and score goals. Raffl has been a great addition to the top line, a play maker great at helping out linemates Giroux and Voracek where it counts. He is showing great offensive skills, his progress and growth is promising.
The Flyers earned a much needed extra point for their record during overtime last night. But, the Washington Capitals aren’t done with them just yet. In less than 36 hours they will be facing the Washington Capitals again. Things that they need to learn from yesterday are: Ovechkin is a lethal weapon, even with only 60 seconds to play. Try to stay out of the penalty box because the Washington power play is lethal. The Flyers will have to skate hard, play a 60-minute hockey game, because not even a 3 point lead will keep them safe from the force of the Washington Capitals.