Same ole same ole in South Philly. The struggling Philadelphia Flyers (13-9-3) followed the recurring game plan. Fall behind early, breakdowns and less than stellar goaltending added up to a 5-4 loss to the surging Washington Capitals (17-6-4).
In a game that was not that close, Coach Alain Vigneault had planned on giving Carter Hart more time off. One issue with a 30ish goaltender, Brian Elliott, is overwork. Perhaps his worst outing of the season with 3 goals allowed off just 10 shots and Hart was forced to enter.
Most teams simply cannot expect to win when they are playing “catch up” hockey and that has been the case. Losing ground in the playoff hunt, Philly has lost five of the last seven including three to the Caps. Trailing 5-2 entering the final period, team Philadelphia finally seemed to show some desperation and got it to 5-4 but couldn’t achieve the equalizer.
On the upside, Nolan Patrick broke his 17 games goal-less string and the power play seems to be finally getting it together. Another issue? Four games coming up in New York starting with the Rangers and leading into the Islanders who are 9-0-1 in their last 10. That could be a good thing. The Islanders are due for a stinker and the Flyers are due for a blowout game.
Ilya Samsonov faced 32 shots and stopped 28. Elliott, we mentioned and in relief, Hart was outstanding at times but looks a bit lost making 11 saves. Same ole same ole in South Philly.