NHL

Philadelphia Flyers penalty kill leads team to victory

The Flyers came into Sunday afternoon’s game against a Washington Capitals team that wanted to bury them further into the standings. That was not the case, though, as the Flyers came away with the 3-1 victory. The penalty killing was the story as it only allowed one Capitals goal on six opportunities.

Philadelphia had control of the game in the first period. While they did not score a goal, they held the Capitals without a shot the first twelve minutes of the game and had the game’s first five shots. They also killed off two penalties as well.

The Flyers had one of the best scoring chances in the period, while shorthanded. Sean Couturier caused a turnover and came in all alone on goaltender Braden Holtby. Holtby was able to stick out the left pad and get a piece of the puck to keep the game scoreless.

The Capitals would finally get their first shot of the game with 11:57 to go in the first period. It was a Nicklas Backstrom shot that would be easily gloved by goaltender Steve Mason. The Capitals would only get four more shots in the period for a total of five in the first.

The Flyers would find the back of the net almost immediately in the second period. Just 50 seconds in, Mark Streit would fire a shot from the point that would deflect of a Capitals’ defensemen and find the back of the net to give the Flyers the 1-0 lead.

During a television timeout, Flyers goaltender Steve Mason went to the bench to get a drink. Mason went to turn back towards the net and almost immediately turned back around in pain. What has only been classified as a lower-body injury, Mason was helped off the ice and to the dressing room by trainers.

Ray Emery came into the game with the Flyers already on the penalty kill. Another penalty forced them to attempt to kill off a 5 on 3 Capitals power play. While the team was able to kill off the first penalty, Washington would strike on the second one. A pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov found Alex Ovechkin all alone on the left side of the ice. Ovechkin settled the pass and beat Emery with a wrist shot to tie the game at 1-1.

The Flyers did not stop fighting there. They killed off another penalty in the second to keep the score tied going into the third period. They were able to grab the lead back courtesy of Wayne Simmonds team-leading 19th goal of the season. Sean Couturier sent a pass that led Simmonds into the offensive zone. Simmonds let go of a strong wrist shot that beat Holtby and gave the Flyers a lead they would not relinquish.

A defensive game and more penalty killing allowed the Flyers to keep the Capitals from putting the equalizer on the board. The Flyers added an empty net goal on the power play from Jakub Voracek to ice the game at 3-1. Brayden Schenn carried the puck along the left side of the ice and sent a pass over to Voracek that he was able to skate towards the empty net and put it in.

Michael Del Zotto continued his great recent stretch of games by collecting an assist on Mark Streit’s second period goal. Del Zotto now has eight points, three goals and five assists, in his last eight games. Claude Giroux also had an assist on the goal to snap his three-game pointless streak. Jakub Voracek also snapped a two-game scoreless streak with his goal. He remains tied atop the NHL’s scoring list with 58 points.

The Flyers will travel to Montreal to take on the Canadiens this Tuesday. Puck drop is set for 7:30 p.m.

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Ariel Melendez

Ariel Melendez is a junior, communication major at Cabrini College. Ariel is also the Sports Director for his school's radio station. Sports are a big passion of his and he loves watching and talking about every game that he sees.

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