Losing hockey games can get frustrating but when they keep happening in late, narrow fashion, the feeling might turn to downright depression.
Such has been the case with the Flyers in their last three setbacks, two of them after regulation time and another by what amounted to a one-goal game until a pair of empty-net goals against Calgary on Monday night.
On Wednesday night, the Flyers took a one-goal lead into the third period against the Capitals in Washington. But with Philadelphia up, 2-1, it surrendered a goal to Sonny Milano with 2:58 to play and then the game-winner to Alex Ovechkin at the 1:04 mark.
The outcome spoiled a strong goaltending effort by the Flyers’ Felix Sandstrom.
The defeat extended the Flyers’ winless streak to eight games (0-6-2) and dropped their season record to 7-9-4. Looking to win for the first time since Nov. 1, the Flyers picked up a goal from Morgan Frost (ending a 17-game drought) in the first period and a go-ahead goal from Patrick Brown in the second.
Brown’s goal at 14:33 of the second period broke a 1-1 tie. Ivan Provorov’s entry from the right circle appeared to deflect off Brown’s skate and past goaltender Darcy Kuemper. Brown just recently returned to the lineup after undergoing offseason back surgery.
The Flyers took a 1-0 lead in the first period on Frost’s first goal since opening night. Frost’s long shot struck Kuemper’s right shoulder, hopped up and trickled into the net at 5:27.
It was just the sixth time the Flyers have scored first in their 20 games.
Washington responded with a power-play goal at 8:05. Initially, it looked like Ovechkin’s shot had eluded Sandstrom. But replays showed the puck was touched by Marcus Johansson’s stick before it crossed the goal line.
Sandstrom defeated the St. Louis Blues back on Nov. 1 just prior to the start of the Flyers’ seven-game winless streak. That was his first NHL win.
The Flyers start a back-to-back set of games when they play host to Pittsburgh at the Wells Fargo Center (5:30 p.m. start) on Friday, then visit the New York Islanders on Saturday. . .Nick Seeler began the game leading the Flyers in plus/minus ratings with a plus-9. . .Flyers now 5-1-0 when leading after two periods.