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Capitals at Flyers In-Game Blog: 3-22-2011

Pregame Preview:

Tonight, the Capitals head into Wells Fargo Center just two points behind the Flyers for first place in the Eastern Conference. A regulation win for the Caps would place both teams at 96 points with the Flyers having played two less games this season than the Caps.

Washington will be without Alex Ovechkin as he rests a nagging injury for 7-10 days, Jason Arnott, who has missed the last three games with a reported groin injury, and Mike Green, who has only appeared in two of the last 19 games because of a concussion.

The Caps will look to even up their season series with the Flyers in their final matchup of the season. Since topping the Flyers 3-2 on November 7th, the Caps have allowed eight goals in two losses to the Flyers since.

Michal Neuvirth, who is expected to start tonight, is coming off of a 3-0 shutout of the New Jersey Devils and is hoping to build on his recent hot streak. “Neuvy” has allowed 11 goals in his last 7 games and is 5-1 in that span.

Eric Fehr and John Erskine are warming up with the team before the game.

1st Period Overview:

- Both teams have been getting breakaway chances in the first five minutes so far with one of the latest shots coming off of Neuvirth’s glove and over the net.

- Jeff Schultz makes a huge mistake and skates in front of the net, unknowingly skating into the puck, almost creating a scoring opportunity for the Flyers.

- Nicklas Backstrom fires a shot to Sergei Bobrovsky, who appears to stop it, but it slides between the five-hole and right into the net. It was Backstrom’s 18th goal on the season. Mike Knuble assisted on the goal.

- The Flyers’ Scott Hartnell quickly gets penalized for high sticking following the goal at 8:26.

- Alexander Semin is quickly double minored for the same infraction just shortly after the call on Hartnell.

- The Flyers offense was peppering Neuvirth while they were on a 5-on-4 advantage.

- Mike Knuble adds to his point total with a great hustle play. He ends the play with a goal past Bobrovsky’s left side as he falls to the ground. Jason Chimera provided a quick assist to Knuble from behind the net.

- With 36 seconds left in the period, Dan Carcillo receives a cross-checking penalty for the Flyers.

- The Flyers fans let their team hear it as they head to the locker room as the period concludes.

Faceoffs Won: WAS – 10 PHI – 10
Hits: WAS – 5 PHI – 9
Shots on Goal: WAS – 7 PHI – 10
Goals: WAS – 2 PHI – 0

2nd Period Overview:

- Brooks Laich was given the assist on Backstrom’s goal earlier in the first period, giving Mike Knuble only one point on the night.

- The Caps quickly put the score to 3-0 with Dennis Wideman’s 10th goal on the year. Backstrom and Knuble assisted on the goal. Knuble gets his assist back.

- The Flyers replaced Bobrovsky with Brian Boucher in net after Wideman’s goal.

- Jay Beagle is sent to the penatly box 3:40 in for holding.

- At about the 12:15 mark, Schultz almost kicks another goal in but it is cleared without a Flyer near the net.

- With 11:55 left, the Flyers score on a Kris Versteeg goal with assists from Matt Carle and Andrej Meszaros

- The momentum so far has clearly been on the Flyers side since Versteeg’s goal. The fans here keep up with every movement of the puck and are as loud, if not louder than the Caps home crowd. It may also be the contruction of the arena. Everything chant sounds much louder and crisper than at Verizon Center.

- Meszaros had the whole left side of the net open to himself but fortunately for Neuvy, it bounced right off the post instead.

- Philadelpha cuts the Caps lead to one with a Claude Giroux goal, assisted by Andreas Nodl and cross-ice pass from Braydon Coburn.

Faceoffs Won: WAS – 5 PHI – 10
Hits: WAS – 7 PHI – 7
Shots on Goal: WAS – 7 PHI – 11
Goals: WAS – 1 PHI – 2

3rd Period Overview:

- Both Alexander Semin and Marcus Johansson put nice moves on their defenders early on in the period. Both teams are skating hard and trying to create chances.

- Just under 14 minutes in, Wideman sent a nice pass to Laich, who couldn’t connect on the one-timer.

- Chimera was absolutely leveled in front of the Flyers bench by Meszaros, prompting a standing ovation from the home crowd with about 11 minutes remaining.

- Nodl takes advantage of a bad pass by the Caps that is deflected by Giroux and ties it up at 3 with 10:02 to go.

- Flyers take the lead with 5:45 remaining off a deflection off Danny Briere’s skate. Neuvirth was at the edge of the goal crease, leaving too much room behind him.

- Johansson ties it up with a slapshot with 3:19 left. Knuble and Scott Hannan were given assists. Score is now 4-4.

Faceoffs Won: WAS – 7 PHI – 10
Hits: WAS – 3 PHI – 10
Shots on Goal: WAS – 5 PHI – 11
Goals: WAS – 1 PHI – 2

Overtime Overview:

- Semin showed off his fantastic stickwork and fired a laser that was stopped by Boucher about halfway into the overtime period.

- Johansson almost gave the Flyers a great breakaway chance with a pass through the middle with about 15 seconds to play.

- Both teams head into a shootout.

Hits: WAS – 1 PHI – 2
Shots on Goal: WAS – 1 PHI – 1
Goals: WAS – 0 PHI – 0

Shootout Overview:

Phi: Ville Leino – Goal is good
Wsh: Matt Hendricks – Goal is good.
Phi: Claude Giroux – Goal is NO good.
Wsh: Nicklas Backstrom – Goal is good.
Phi: Danny Briere – Goal is good.
Wsh: Alexander Semin – Goal is good. – Capitals win.

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