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Capitals at Flyers In-Game Blog: 03-22-12

 

Pregame Preview:

The Capitals arrive in Philadelphia after one of their biggest victories of the season, a 5-3 road win against the Red Wings.

Following Monday night’s matchup against Detroit, the Capitals have mustered a 5-4-1 record in the month of March, including a 1-0 loss to the Flyers on March 4th.

Washington will also have their hands full with hot goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who has been named the NHL’s First Star of the Week for the second week in a row. The 31-year-old netminder had his fair share of pitfalls this season but his overall performance is on the upswing. This month, Bryzgalov has posted out-of-this-world numbers, notably an 8-1-1 record for the month of March and a .955 save percentage with 275 saves out of 288 shots.

The Flyers also boast one of the league’s top offenses, averaging 3.14 goals per game, good enough for third in the NHL. Left winger Scott Hartnell is tied for fourth in the league with 35 goals while right winger Claude Giroux leads the league with 58 assists and is tied for second in points with 84.

As the Caps head down the final weeks of the regular season, they need to make a push to stay on course with the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference. The Caps (80 points) currently hold the final seed in the conference and still have aspirations of winning the Southeast Division, which currently belongs to the Florida Panthers.

The Panthers’ 2-1 win over the Flyers on Tuesday propelled them to 85 points on the season and gave Bryzgalov his only loss in March.

1st Period Overview:

- 26 seconds in, Ovechkin puts Caps up 1-0.

- Ovechkin surpasses his goal total from last season.

- Kimmo Timonen sent to the penalty box for boarding at the 4:11 mark.

- Caps 0-1 on the power play so far.

- Joel Ward had an excellent opportunity to get the puck past Bryzgalov but he couldn’t handle the puck the way he needed to.

- 10:45 into the first period, the Caps have outshot the Flyers 8-5.

- Appears that Brooks Laich took a hit to the face. Didn’t see what happened but he’s holding his mouth.

- The Flyers were pressing hard as the first period was coming to an end but Braden Holtby did not relent. The Caps defense as a whole held up very well.

- In the first period, the #Caps outshot the #Flyers 12-11 and won eight faceoffs to Philadelphia’s seven.

Total Faceoffs Won: WAS – 8 PHI – 7
Total Hits: WAS – 9 PHI – 7
Total Shots on Goal: WAS – 12 PHI– 11
Total Goals: WAS – 1 PHI– 0

2nd Period Overview:

- A ref gets taken off his feet and the Flyers fans erupt.

- Holtby makes the huge mistake of leaving his net. Gives Giroux the easy goal. Game is tied at 1.

- That goal, scored at the 6:05 mark, is Giroux’s 27th goal of the year.

- Scott Hartnell nearly makes it 2-1 and tosses the puck over the right side of the net.

- Philadelphia has been pressuring the #Caps almost the whole period, continuing where they left off in the first.

- Holtby will regret giving up that goal. That opportunity was so preventable. All he had to do was stay back in net.

- Marcus Johansson loses the puck on the penalty shot at the 12:58 mark.

- Flyers call 30 second timeout with 2:01 left in the second period.

- Giroux gets two minutes in the sin bin for interference at the 18:56 mark.

Total Faceoffs Won: WAS – 19 PHI – 13
Total Hits: WAS – 18 PHI – 14
Total Shots on Goal: WAS – 22 PHI– 18
Total Goals: WAS – 1 PHI– 1

3rd Period Overview:

- Jeff Halpern is sent to the penalty box for holding at the 1:56 mark. Caps on the PK now.

- Caps manage to kill the penalty.

- Johansson takes a thunderous body shot near the Flyers blue line and is skating without his helmet.

- With 5:56 left in the third period, the Caps have outshot the Flyers 29-22.

- Cue the Rocky theme here in Wells Fargo Center.

- Overtime we go.

Total Faceoffs Won: WAS – 30 PHI – 21
Total Hits: WAS – 27 PHI – 20
Total Shots on Goal: WAS – 31 PHI– 26
Total Goals: WAS – 1 PHI– 1

Overtime Overview:

- Ovechkin had the chance to seal the game but overshot his mark.

Total Faceoffs Won: WAS – 30 PHI – 23
Total Hits: WAS – 29 PHI – 20
Total Shots on Goal: WAS – 31 PHI– 28
Total Goals: WAS – 1 PHI– 1

Overtime Overview:

PHI: First Shot – Matt Read – Good
WAS: First Shot – Matt Hendricks – Good
PHI: Second Shot – Claude Giroux – No Good
WAS: Second Shot – Alexander Ovechkin – No Good
PHI: Third Shot – Danny Briere – No Good
WAS: Third Shot – Keith Aucoin – No Good
PHI: Fourth Shot – Wayne Simmonds – Good
WAS: Fourth Shot – Troy Brouwer – No Good

Flyers win 2-1.

Be sure to follow me on Twitter @_JakeRussell and TheHogs.net @TheHogsdotNet

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