The Philadelphia Flyers came out of this year’s All-Star break against a tough Metropolitan Division rival in the Washington Capitals on national television.
Going into Wednesday night’s tilt, the Flyers had beaten the Capitals twice in two meetings this season. Once in overtime and once in an 8-2 drubbing. Unfortunately, while Wednesday night seemed like history would repeat itself a third time, ultimately the Capitals would get their revenge.
The Flyers came out of the gate on fire and the new look line with Nolan Patrick, Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds got on the board first with a sick goal by Patrick. He received a great feed from Simmonds and deked around Braden Holtby and roofed a backhander for his fourth goal of the season.
Shortly thereafter, Travis Konecny scored his fifth goal in five games and it was all smooth sailing for the Flyers.
That was… until the second period.
The Capitals went on to score five unanswered goals against Michal Neuvirth, who was eventually pulled in the third period. After the game, Neuvirth said he was still struggling with the stomach bug which may have contributed to his poor performance.
Alex Lyon played the last ten minutes of the game, saving all five shots he faced.
The Flyers did get one goal back off a tip by Voracek off of a shot by Ivan Provorov. Patrick got the secondary assist on the play for his first two-point game of his young career. Looks like he and Provorov might be getting their Brandon Wheat Kings connection back intact.
It’s not surprising the Flyers couldn’t go 3-0 against the Capitals this season. Overall, the Flyers played a decent game. Inconsistent goaltending and defensive miscues by pairings other than the first led to the Flyers’ downfall against the Capitals.
If Flyers fans get anything out of Wednesday night, it’s that Patrick is coming into his own and clearly has the speed and skill to center a top-six line. If he can develop some consistent chemistry with Voracek and Simmonds, the Flyers have a real shot of making some noise this year.
The Flyers are back at it Thursday night against the New Jersey Devils, and they desperately need two points if they want to stay competitive in the extremely tight Metro.