Flyers can’t hold early lead, lose to Capitals, 5-2

John Tortorella

      WASHINGTON – Some losses hurt more than others and they certainly don’t come much more painful than the one the Flyers suffered on Friday night at the Capital One Arena.

      Staked to a 2-0 lead after one period, the Flyers promptly surrendered three goals in the second period, two more in the third and went on to drop a 5-2 decision.

      By losing, the Flyers watched their hold on third place in the Metropolitan Division become a little more tenuous. They hold just a four-point edge on the Caps with Washington holding a game in hand. New Jersey, which began the night five points back, played a late game at Anaheim.

      The Flyers used goals from Bobby Brink and Owen Tippett to grab their early advantage.

      Brink scored for the second straight game after Tippett and Morgan Frost failed to connect on a two-on-one rush. Brink followed up the miss with a shot past Charlie Lindgren just 1:52 into the match.

      Then Tippett scored at 18:23 on the power play. Stationed in the left circle, Tippett took a pass from defenseman Egor Zamula and ripped a shot past Lindgren.

      But the Capitals woke up after the first intermission, getting three pucks past Flyers goalie Samuel Ersson.

      The scoring parade started with Alex Ovechkin connecting on a shot at 4:34. It was the 839th of his illustrious career, second only to legend Wayne Gretzky. Sean Couturier lost a faceoff which set up the big first Washington goal.

      “It was a wasted opportunity,” Couturier said. “Especially to take over and move up in the standings. We’re still there; just forget about this one. Maybe some little details cost us.

      “I don’t win that faceoff clean there and then they score. If I do my job and win the draw, that’s probably still a 2-0 game. It’s a little frustrating, I’m not going to lie.”

      Sonny Milano tied the score at 9:55, then defenseman John Carlson pulled a rare move for a backliner, sweeping behind the net, then coming out and beating Ersson to the near post with a backhander at 17:45.

      In the final frame, Anthony Mantha scored on a power play for Washington at 6:04. Mantha was stationed out front without a Flyer in sight and he converted from Dylan Strome. Then Strome scored with 4:22 to play.

      Why did the wheels fall off after the promising first period?

      “I think they (the Capitals) get some momentum off their faceoff goal (by Ovechkin),” Tortorella said. “I think they were checking better. After the first period, I just don’t think we developed much offense.

      “It’s not like we lost total control. We just didn’t develop enough offense. Not enough from our offensive guys. We have to get some guys untracked.”

      Tippett said the Flyers left the door open a crack and that’s dangerous against the high-powered Caps.

      “They’re a kind of team if you give them time and space, they’re going to capitalize,” Tippett said. “(In the second) We just couldn’t get back to the way we played in the first. Ultimately, that was a game-changer.”

     >Brink benched for third period

     Even though he scored that early goal, Brink did not see action in the third period. According to Tortorella, Brink was not playing up to team standard.

      Did he still deserve a chance to play in the third for the experience factor?

      “Not with the stupidity prior,” the coach said. He said the same logic applied to rookie Olle Lycksell getting only 6:54 of playing time.

      Brink was not made available by Flyers public relations to comment.

      >Briere discusses trade deadline

      During the first intermission of Friday night’s game, general manager Daniel Briere discussed a number of subjects with the media, the most prominent being the upcoming NHL trade deadline next Friday.

      The Flyers have made it known they are willing to play let’s make a deal and not just with players such as pending unrestricted free agents Nick Seeler and Sean Walker.

      At the same time, Briere is trying to gauge what it would take to keep the two defensemen from a cash standpoint.

      As for trades, the phones are open.

      However, Briere noted any potential deal involving the Flyers has to work in order to part ways with a proven veteran, particularly in the midst of a push for the team’s first playoff spot in four years.

      “Nothing has changed,” Briere said. “We’re getting a lot of calls on our guys. We’ve also been talking to their representatives (Seeler, Walker) what it would cost to keep them. Nothing has really changed on that part.”

      Briere said “everything is on the table.”

      “It’s not just about this year,” he said. “It’s about the future as well.”

      >Injury updates

      Briere updated the status of injured players, including defenseman Jamie Drysdale, forward Travis Konecny and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen.

      “Konecny, there might be an outside chance for Monday (vs. St. Louis),” Briere said. “But more realistically Thursday (at Florida). That’s more what it’s looking like at the moment.

      “Jamie, we don’t know yet,” the GM said. “We said we would take two weeks to let the injury kind of settle a little bit and we’ll re-evaluate. It’s too early to tell if it’s going to be way longer or if there’s a chance in a few weeks he might play.”

      >Short shots

      The scratches included Cam Atkinson and defenseman Ronnie Attard, who was just called up from the Phantoms. . .The Flyers have Sunday off, then play host to the St. Louis Blues on Monday. . .Linesman Trent Knorr left the game due to illness. The game was completed with two refs and one linesman.

Avatar photo
About Wayne Fish 2426 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.