The Washington Capitals cannot be stopped, even when they need an extra period of play. Washington handled the Philadelphia Flyers, defeating them 2-1 in overtime to extend their home winning streak to 15 games.
With the victory, the Capitals extended their impressive lead over the Metropolitan Divison and the NHL. The Flyers moved to within three points of the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference with the OT loss.
The opening frame was filled with penalties and physicality. Washington took three calls in the first and managed to look perfect on the penalty kill. Both teams held each other without much to offer, as the Flyers ended up outshooting the Capitals after 20 minutes of play, 7-6.
Braden Holtby did make an impressive save in the first frame. After misplaying the puck behind the net, which is a rarity for him, Holtby quickly recovered, making his way back to the crease to stone Sean Couturier, who had nothing but net.
Braden Holtby and Steve Mason both impressed, but overall, each side backchecked and played effective defense to keep each other silent and without many shots through the first period.
The second period definitely had more offense and more physicality. Each side exchanged a barrage of chances, but it was nothing Holtby or Mason couldn’t handle. The Capitals took two penalties during the middle frame, leaving the penalty kill to shine and stop the Flyers, who possess the 10th-best power play in the league, in their tracks.
Despite plenty of chances for Washington, the Flyers again outshot the Caps, 13-12. Going into the third period, both teams would be left to think about how they would get the puck into the back of the net.
The Flyers struck first, finally figuring out Holtby about a minute into the third period. Matt Read got a nice look, and Sean Couturier managed to get his stick on it and deflect it past Holtby to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead in the final frame.
The Capitals wouldn’t take long to respond and got some scoring from their blueline. Dmitry Orlov stepped up to the plate, flying into the zone and firing a hard slap shot past Mason to tie the game at one.
Unfortunately, Washington couldn’t get much more on goal after Orlov’s tally and managed just four shots on net in the final 20 minutes of regulation. Philadelphia again outshot them with nine shots and managed to put on more pressure. However, the buzzer would sound with the score still knotted.
Michael Del Zotto took a penalty in the middle of the OT frame, giving Washington a 4-on-3 man advantage. Alex Ovechkin gave the puck to Kevin Shattenkirk, who looked for an open lane and passed the puck to an open Nicklas Backstrom. The Capitals center then fired a dart past Mason, giving the Caps the 2-1 overtime victory.
Dallas Stars at Washington Capitals
Verizon Center, 7:30 p.m. EST on March 6
Broadcast Channels: CSNMA, NBCSN
Philadelphia Flyers at Buffalo Sabres
Nationwide Arena, 7:30 p.m. EST on March 7
Broadcast Channels: CSNP, NBCSN
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.