Capitals-Flyers Live Blog 12/13/2011
Tonight the Washington Capitals, winners of back-t0-back games for the first time in coach Dale Hunter’s young NHL coaching career, look to continue their winning ways. Standing in their way of a three game winning streak are the top seed in the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers have been doing extremely well this season, especially if you consider that they’ve been doing it without their top defenseman (and team captain) Chris Pronger, who has been sidelined with various injuries. The Capitals, of course, know how the Flyers feel as they too are missing their top defenseman in Mike Green.
The Flyers, who have been plagued with injuries to key players like defenseman Andres Lilja and forward/center Blair Betts, will have to win tonight without the NHL’s top scorer Claude Giroux, who is out due to concussion-like symptoms. Despite not having Giroux, the Flyers will still be a very tough team to beat. This is a different Capitals team and a different Flyers team from the last time these two teams faced, which was a 5-2 Capitals win in October.
CAPITALS FORWARD LINES:
8-19-28 (Alex Ovechkin–Nicklas Backstrom– Alexander Semin)
20-90-15 (Troy Brouwer–Marcus Johansson–Jeff Halpern)
25-21-42 (Jason Chimera–Brooks Laich –Joel Ward)
50-85-22 (Cody Eakin–Mathieu Perreault–Mike Knuble)
CAPITALS DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS
27-74 (Karl Alzner–John Carlson)
4-6 (John Erskine–Dennis Wideman)
44-81 (Roman Hamrlik–Dmitry Orlov)
29 (Tomas Vokoun)
Jeff Schultz (healthy), Matt Hendricks (day-to-day), Mike Green (day-to-day)
FLYERS FORWARD LINES (Projected)
19-14-68 (Scott Hartnell-Sean Couturier-Jaromir Jagr)
29-48-17 (Harry Zolnierczyk-Danny Briere-Wayne Simmonds)
21-27-93 (James van Riemsdyk-Maxime Talbot-Jakub Voracek)
45-36-24 (Jody Shelley-Zac Rinaldo-Matt Read)
FLYERS DEFENSIVE PAIRINGS (Projected)
44-5 (Kimmo Timonen-Braydon Coburn)
41-25 (Andrej Meszaros-Matt Carle)
43-46 (Marc-Andre Bourdon-Kevin Marshall)
30 (Ilya Bryzgalov)
Claude Giroux (concussion), Tom Sestito
6:25 FLYERS PENALTY- James Van Riemsdyk two minutes for cross checking.
JVR cross checks Vokoun into the goal, which negated a Flyers goal. Capitals were unable to capitalize on the power play. Flyers PK did a great job taking away passing lanes.
This game has been incredibly physical so far. Even Alex Semin is getting into it. About 12 minutes into the period, he got into it with Max Talbot. No penalties called, but tensions are flying all over the place.
12:31 FLYERS PENALTY- Marc-Andre Bourdon two minutes for holding
Bourdon holds Laich on a scoring chance for the Capitals. Capitals unable to capitalize on the power play, they’re now 0-2 tonight. Flyers penalty kill is suffocating the Caps power play tonight. Capitals have to find a way to get shots through.
16:16 FLYERS GOAL- Scott Hartnell (15), assisted by Jaromir Jagr (15) and Matt Carle (10). FLYERS LEAD 1-0
Vokoun allows a very soft goal to Hartnell off a wrist shot. Embarrassing goal to allow for Vokoun.
18:21 CAPITALS PENALTY- Troy Brouwer, two minutes for tripping.
Pretty obvious trip by Brouwer. Capitals penalty kill will take on the third best power play in the NHL.
END OF THE FIRST PERIOD. FLYERS LEAD 1-0.
Capitals offense has to get things going. They’re not getting chances like they should be. You’re not going to beat the Flyers if you can only muster 5 shots on goal a period. Bryzgalov is extremely prone to rebounds, so taking shots against him is always a good idea. Alex Semin had a great first period. First line really has to pick it up. Power play has to work the top of the circles and crash the net because the Flyers penalty kill has taken away most of the middle ice.
Capitals defense looked great outside of Vokoun’s soft goal. Flyers aren’t getting many chances. Penalty kill looked very strong.
7:23 FLYERS GOAL- MARC-ANDRE BOURDON (1), assisted by Zac Rinaldo (3) and Matt Carle (11). FLYERS LEAD 2-0.
Capitals not playing well right now. Offense looks anemic. Defense starting to make mistakes.
14:21 FLYERS GOAL- WAYNE SIMMONDS (8), assisted by Andrej Meszaros (6) and Danny Briere (15). FLYERS LEAD 3-0
Capitals defense is really having a breakdown. Capitals offense isn’t doing much to help. Capitals really have to start playing more aggressively. This game is far from over… hopefully.
17:33 FLYERS GOAL- MAXIME TALBOT (8), assisted by James Van Riemsdyk (9) and Braydon Coburn (8). FLYEARS LEAD 4-0.
Another soft goal allowed by Tomas Vokoun. Wouldn’t be surprised to see Neuvy play the third period. Capitals simply being dominated by a better team right now.
END OF THE SECOND PERIOD. FLYERS LEAD 4-0.
The score says it all. Capitals desperately need to get something going on offense. They got good pressure on their last shift, hopefully they can build off that. Remember the Panthers game, this team can randomly score in huge bursts. In order for that to be possible though, the defense has to play mistake-free hockey.
5:26 FLYERS GOAL- Jakub Voracek (5), assisted by Matt Carle (11) and James Van Riemsdyk (10). FLYERS LEAD 5-0.
Goalie changes don’t matter if there’s too much traffic in front of the net. Flyers have been crashing the net all game long and the Capitals haven’t been able to do anything about it. Can’t blame Neuvirth for that one. Capitals really playing horribly tonight.
13:59 CAPITALS GOAL- Jeff Halpern (3) assisted by Dennis Wideman (15) and Joel Ward (7). FLYERS LEAD 5-1.
Nice goal by the Capitals. Great to see Halpern score. At least the Capitals didn’t get shut out.
END OF GAME. FLYERS WIN 5-1.
The Capitals simply got dominated by a better team at this point. I didn’t expect the Capitals to win tonight. The Flyers are red hot right now, even more red hot than the Capitals were at the beginning of the year. I’m not worried about this loss, but I want to see this team come back and make a statement on Thursday. Alex Semin had a good night for the Capitals, he was physical all game long. Bryzgalov had a terrific night in goal. He’s got the hot hand. When a goalie like Bryz gets on a hot streak, with his size and quickness, he can be a brick wall.
Some nights just aren’t your night in hockey. You can’t harp on one bad game. You’ve got to tip your helmet to the other team, move on and try your best to win the next one. Hopefully the Capitals can do that on Thursday night when they travel to Winnipeg.