What a Waste: Flyers beat Caps 5-4 (OT)


Photo: Rob Carr

The Washington Capitals wrapped up a weekend of early games by taking on the Philadelphia Flyers at noon on–


— my grandmother riding by on a bicycle giving me the finger, and a duck!

The Caps and Flyers are a resurgent rivalry that rarely leaves us lacking drama. This was no exception.

Dmitry Orlov capped off some great zone time by putting a one-timer past Steve Mason. Claude Giroux tied it up with an in-and-out goal that took 90 seconds of game time before the refs figured it out. Marcus Johansson got in the paint to deflect in Jason Chimera’s pass as a power play expired. Nick Backstrom won a scramble with Steve Mason, but the war room in Toronto didn’t have enough evidence to overturn the no-goal call.

Alex Ovechkin abandoned the puck behind the net during a power play, allowing Adam Hall to tie the game with a shorty, but no worries: Jay Beagle got a pass off Joel Ward to score from exactly zero feet out. Dmitry Orlov got his second goal with a nice little mudskipper of a shot from the blue line and through some traffic up front.

Jakub Voracek scored on a screened Holtby during Orlov’s five-minute major penalty and then set up Giroux for the game-tying goal with just over a minute left.

Vincent Lecavalier won it in overtime.

Flyers beat Caps 5-4.

(There was a Bailamos here, but I removed it.)

  • At least that first period was fun. The Caps have a reputation for sometimes not being “up” for games– particularly early games. That wasn’t the case on Sunday. Philly got a couple chances in the first couple minutes, but the Caps took over after that. The Caps doubled up in shot attempts in that period 31 to 15. It could’ve been 4-1 after twenty minutes. If you need an excuse to get excited about the Caps, there you freaking go.
  • Today Marty Erat got his 17th even-strength assist and Marcus Johansson got his second even-strength goal. Erat is second in assists, third in close-score possession, and probably on his way out of town. Johansson, meanwhile, gets the best linemates and lots of power play time. Both are good players, but they way they are treated (and talked about) is so ridiculously out of whack.
  • This should have been a goal.
  • Erskine almost lost this eye.

    Erskine almost lost this eye.

    In addition to woefully mismanaging their goalies, the Flyers are also known for playing scumbag hockey. With both Zac Rinaldo and Steve Downie in their ranks, they’ve elevated dirtbaggery to an art form. For example, Downie either tripped or slewfooted Ovechkin in the first, then sent Erskine to get stitches in the second with a high stick into the boards. Ersk demanded satisfaction in the third period, roughing up Downie during Orlov’s five-minute major.

  • In the midst of his best game as a professional, Dmitry Orlov completely ruined it. Seemingly cranky after a hit from Brayden Schenn, Orlov returned fire with a dirty hit. Orlov hit Schenn’s numbers and got some airtime, earning a totally justified five-minute major for charging. Just dumb, dumb, dumb. Dumb and dangerous. The Flyers scored just once on the ensuing penalty, which is probably due to some great work in net by Holtby.

Related: Dmitry Orlov Boards Brayden Schenn, May Face Suspension (GIF)

  • Orlov’s five-minute major kind of makes that “scumbag hockey” bullet above a glass houses kind of thing, doesn’t it?
  • Braden Holtby was amazing. The Caps didn’t do a good job limiting the Flyers’ chances in the second period, forcing Holtby to make some ridiculous saves. Here’s a taste. I hope Ryan Miller has a blast in St Louis because the Caps already have their franchise goalie.
  • The NBC broadcast was kind of excellent. Last night’s Stadium Series game meant that we got the B-squad. They had insight– Adam Oates’ opinion of Tom Wilson, Braden Holtby changing his style– and the presence of mind to credit Alex Ovechkin for a great backcheck once John Carlson allowed a breakaway for Philly. On the other hand, there were all those NBC chime sound effects for storm warnings that drowned out the audio of Brooks Laich’s pre-game interview. And when Nick Backstrom had the puck during a second period power play, he was literally under the radar taking up the bottom-right of the screen.
  • Alex Ovechkin had a wild game. He was shooting like crazy in the first period, but generally struggled during evens. Then there’s the whole “left-the-puck-behind-the-net-so-the-Flyers-could-get-a-shorty” thing. Not sure what to make of all that yet. I was hoping I could say the Caps can win even if Ovi doesn’t score, but… ya know… they didn’t.
  • Jay Beagle got the greasy goal, but Joel Ward‘s sneaky pass to set him up from the crease was pretty clean. Ward doesn’t really get credit for having soft hands, but in the middle of his career season, it’s pretty obvious he’s got the moves.
You knew this was coming.

You knew this was coming.

The Capitals should be ashamed. They had the rego win, and they wasted it. Once again, they blow a multi-goal lead. Instead of seizing a playoff spot, the Caps remain on the bubble.

This is a crisis. There should be a war room meeting somewhere. The Caps need to hire Olivia Pope & Associates. Blowing leads is dooming this team. Today it ended their winning streak and cost them a playoff spot.  The team just plays wrong.  I’ll put the Fenwick timeline in the comments and you can go, “Oh yeah. That’s the exact moment they went into a shell and completely undid all the good work they did in the first 40 minutes.”

Ugh. This team is capable of being so much better, and it’s just dumb stuff– easily solvable stuff– costing them wins.

  • Jack Conness

    The Caps can’t keep doing this. This is awful. The first 30 minutes of
    the game was probably the best they have played all season. But I have never
    seen a time so indecisive and lackadaisical when they have a lead. This
    is the problem with the team. This is why I wasn’t so high on them like
    everyone else was yesterday. They break our hearts by doing stuff like this.
    They have all season. Dmitry Orlov still has a lot to learn. He could be a real
    threat offensively but he still looks pretty bad on defense and we all know how
    awful of a penalty he took. Bad. Bad. Bad. An awful loss. They haven been
    playing great as of late but once again, dumb penalties and mistakes cost them
    once again. They have to figure it out.

    The few positives? I love Joel Ward. Best season of his life. And this is also becoming a great rivalry. Always fun to watch these two teams play each other. Except today. Today sucked.

  • Marky Narc

    This team might make the playoffs, but in no way are they a Playoff Team.

  • Chris Cerullo

    There is not a team I hate more than the Flyers. That’s all I have to say. Need to take them in regulation in Philly really really really really badly.

  • Jake Ettawakapow


  • Freedoooom

    Holtby made all the saves he should, except for the 4 he didn’t.

    Neuvirth should start the next game 100%.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Hmmm I wonder when the Dima hit took place

  • Josh Carey

    Holtby did make some great saves in the second though. But I agree, Neuvy should get a chance.

  • Jake Ettawakapow


  • Holtby shouldn’t have played at all.

    Don’t play goalies in back-to-backs. Just don’t.

  • dylan wheatley

    headscratching hockey

  • Rob W.

    That loss sums up this entire season, moments of brilliance and heavy on the stupid. I could care less about Orlov’s 2 goals. The way he and green pay defense is just embarrassing. The entire team was just shell shocked the entire 3rd and had no clue how to match the flyers tenacity. Giving away 2 points is why we wont make the playoffs

  • mr_dunnyrat

    Why on the earth Oates sends out Ovechkin when team is defending their lead in last minute? Orlov’s foolish penalty didn’t cost the game, it was Ovie’s super selfish play on own blueline when the net was empty and he had easy chance to put puck over the blueline. What a waste indeed.

  • Jake Ettawakapow

    Really need the win in philly boys. Expect Schenn to draw another 5 minute boarding call. I’m calling it right now!

  • Matt Lauer

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you your polished turd for the evening.

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    I regret tuning in to this game in the final 9 minutes almost as much as watching Safe House starring Julianne Hough last night. But not as much.

  • Myan

    The past 2 times we’ve played Philadelphia, a major penalty turned the tide…Flyers goon charging vs Alzner, Wilson vs Schenn, and now Dima. It seems like they’ve learned their lesson since that 2nd game and our guys can’t keep a lid on their emotions. What a wasteful game by Dima but what an uninspiring effort by Ovi. Next game is going to be huge. We need all 2 points in REGO.

  • Myan

    *Safe Haven 🙂

  • Myan

    Do I sense sarcasm, Sir??

  • Priscilla Villanueva

    This error explains a lot about why I should stick to crime dramas.

  • yv

    Great hockey in the first period, but then lost like complete razdalbies (Orly and Ovi should know this word) Some of Caps could see the last game in VC, even Orly. This last minutes 3 points turnaround might be fatal for Caps.

  • Chris Cerullo

  • nicoley-poley
  • Freedoooom
  • Jonathan Garcia

    Oh yeah. That’s the exact moment they went into a shell and completely undid all the good work they did in the first 40 minutes.

  • yv

    puck in the air, this is just wrong projection, only above can prove it and it was inconclusive.

  • Jonathan Garcia

    And here I was thinking earlier, “man, the Capitals are actually playing good hockey!” Stupid, naive Garcia. You should have known better than to think such thoughts.

  • Lawrence

    I don’t want to start a war on the situation, but Schenn and other players have got to learn that their BODIES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE POWERPLAY. Schenn knew that Orlov was pissed, turns and sees Orlov flying at him 100 miles an hour and Schenn turns his back to him. Why?? Why trust that the other player is going to follow the rules? Dumb, protect yourself and your career.

    Orlov will get a call from Shanny, but I doubt he gets suspended.

  • hey I wrote that!

  • Myan

    On the bright side, we lost today because of lack of discipline, not poor play. We found secondary scoring and until the ill-advised penalty, we played a great game. Bad penalties and lazy passes (Ovi) will lose you games but those are all things that we can fix. Silver linings!


    “Ugh. This team is capable of being so much better, and it’s just dumb stuff– easily solvable stuff– costing them wins.”
    Inability to clear the zone or have any structure for exiting the zone with the puck.
    Lack of even strength production from the top 2 lines the entire season,
    Still no dmen on this roster that can effectively clear the crease.

    That stuff is far from “easily solvable”

  • Alex Ovechkin generated only 5 shot attempts during 5v5. 25% possession. Worst on the team.

    He was great during the PP though.

  • Shawn Murphy

    hey Caps, l’eggo my Rego 🙁

  • GregV

    Yes to all of this. I can’t decide if the mistakes we keep seeing are the result of problems with skills, strategy or mindset. We gave this one away.

  • kemiisto

    Easy answer: Oates is an idiot.

  • Stardawg

    Ovechkin provides more fuel for Milbury and the like. How Ovi can be so bad after 2 phenomenal games is mind-blowing. He had plenty of time to change in OT but decided to stay on the ice and watch Philly score.


    Everyone is blaming orlov for the loss but are ignorant to the fact that the going 4 for 19 or 21% in defensive zone faceoffs is completely unacceptable. That was the biggest factor for why the caps lost. The worst teams in the NHL never perform that poorly in faceoffs in their own zone.

    You can’t shoot the puck if you don’t have the puck. You won’t have the puck often if you can’t win faceoffs.

  • Guest

    Traktor lost and Admiral faces Amur who lost 7-2 to Metalurg NK! We’ll see Kuzya next week!!

  • Ash

    I pretty much agree on the goalie back to backs, but do we win that game with Neuvy? Does he make those saves? Would it have made a difference? Ugh, everything is QUESTIONS.

  • kemiisto

    Depends on which goalie we are talking about. But, yes, Holtby is not good (too say the least) at back-to-backs. Anyway, not his fault. It’s Oates’ decision. And I will repeat it one more time: Oates is an idiot.

  • gustafsson16

    Despite the poor timing of the penalty and resulting goal off the major penalty, I was actually glad to see some fight and tenacity from Orlov. Of course it was a ‘bad’ penalty, but given how our defense usually gets pushed around it was refreshing to see. His pinches to help in the offensive zone are getting better timed. This was a team loss – almost zero effort after the 4th goal. That short handed goal was just inexcusable and I’m lost as to why #8 was on the ice for the game tieing goal. Ward continues to impress – the behind the skates pass on the Beagle goal was just sick. Good effort from Holtby, but even with all those highlight stops we aren’t going to win many if we give up 5.

  • kemiisto

    Won’t help with the Head Coach we have right now. Nothing. Won’t. Help.

  • yv

    He looked to me mentally and physically exhausted. Too much and for too long hanging on his shoulders without any breaks.


    Caps are now 4-12-5 when Ovechkin doesn’t score a goal in the game.


    Actually, this stat line might have even more losses. I couldn’t recall what they said during the game.

  • kemiisto

    How many times more Oates want to see the team dropping 2 goal lead to finally realise that this team can not hold it?

  • Guest

    Backstrom is by far our worst faceoff man. He use to be so good. It looks like he’s trying to be too cute with his stick when taking a faceoff.

  • mr_dunnyrat

    Feels like i already knew the answer. Maybe i was just thinking through my keyboard? Can’t be sure.

  • Guest

    Laichs puck possession really hurts the first line. I think it’s one of the reasons they have such a hard time when they try to get out of the D zone.

  • kemiisto

    Alternative answer: GMGM is an idiot. Because he is the reason we’re wasting time with totally unexperienced coach ONCE AGAIN!

  • Barrett

    Hey look, Mike Green had an awesome game with 3 assists and John Carlson stunk it up. Let’s keep that Carlson guy on the power-play! He made the Olympic team as the 7th d-man, that’s pretty good…right?

  • Barrett

    Hart Trophy #4?

  • Hockey mom

    That stunk! So many good things happening, but some dumb errors end up negating all the hard work…

  • Lance Perrier

    Need an actual NHL caliber starting goalie. The end!


    During hunter hockey, you could always count on Hendricks, Beagle and even Ward to win critical defensive zone faceoffs… what happen to those guys? I mean the faceoff problem didn’t happen near the end of the game, the caps were getting cleaned out from puck drop. Oates never made any adjustments. This is oates problem, he cannot make in game adjustments to save his life. Happened in the playoffs too.

  • kemiisto

    Nope. Just don’t play Holtby on b2bs. We have good enough backup to do so. We need an NHL caliber coach, not a goalie.


    Right or wrong, the people who still vote for the trophies would NEVER give Ovechkin another heart trophy with a +/- of -21 over a healthy crosby Plus / Minus is a dumb stat, but the people who have the votes are old school and that’s all they understand .

  • Guest

    Are you kidding? Holtby was practically standing on his head at times. That’s not a goaltending issue – it’s a defense/possession issue.

  • capsmccoy

    haha love it, my thoughts exactly

  • Barrett

    The defensive pairing of Green and Orlov was the best for the Capitals today against the Flyers. Anytime your defenseman chip in for a combined 2 goals and 3 assists and only allow one goal all game it isn’t their fault. Blame someone else.


    Ha, comments like these further prove why Mcphee has been the GM for 17 years with nothing to show for. General fanbase has no idea what is going on and buy anything the GM says. Holtby was far from the reason the caps lost. Look at the quality of chances the caps gave up first.

  • Rob W.

    yes they played well OFFENSIVELY

  • Barrett

    Yeah, but you take away Crosby and where are the Penguins? Middle of the pack team? They still have Malkin, Kunitz, Neal, etc. Take away Ovechkin and the Capitals are worse than the Buffalo Sabres. They might not even have 10 wins.

  • Guru Too

    Ok. That’s stupid. But I’ll take the bet

  • Barrett

    I agree. Beagle is the best faceoff man the Capitals have (percentage wise). It all stems from the team being weak down the center. Not having Grabovski hurts too, he’s right there with Beagle.

  • Guru Too

    Really? Holtby played awesome. It was the 5 guys in front of him.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Was on edge. Argument is that the top edge may have been on the edge if the goal line. No goal because it was called no goal initially. Inconclusive evidence and no goal as it is with all Caps goal reviews.

  • Chris Cerullo

    Wasn’t in the air…. was spinning on its edges


    You don’t have to tell me dude. I know all of this. I’m just telling you what will probably happen and how the biased media thinks.

  • Chris Cerullo

    I don’t know why you have an obsession with degrading John Carlson. Mike Green had a very nice game but that’s his first in what 3 months?

  • Barrett

    They were both on the ice for only 1 goal against. Green was on the ice for four goals for while Orlov scored two of the three goals he was on ice for. What more do you want? Maybe if Carlson and Alzner weren’t terrible at clearing their own zone, the first line wouldn’t be -20.

  • Guru Too

    Ahhh. Not really. Without Holtby the game would have been far uglier. It was bad play hidden by a goalie playing awesome.

  • Barrett

    I think that’s the conversation the voters have every year though and one reason why Ovechkin has won three times.

  • Rob W.

    All Im saying is that their offensive play is great and all but green and orly have made so many dumb mistakes in their own end. I just wish they played as well on D as they do on O. In my opinion its just not Carlson and Alzner who are bad at clearing, they are all pretty bad at it which is why my biggest problem with the defense is Calle

  • Michael Riley

    Flyers are a goon squad made up of a small number of talented skill players and then a whole lot of garbage. This is what they do, play dirty all game and anger opponents and hope to get a reaction from a young guy like Orlov and go on the PP. It’s what you have to do to gain a competitive advantage when you lack the skill to just skate and play.

  • Barrett

    Carlson is good, but he’s over-hyped. Green is good, but he’s always blasted in the media and by fans for no reason. They both make bad plays, they both are not the best defensively. Green takes more flack for the same errors Carlson does, but nobody wants to point out “Captain America” having flaws.

    His last “very nice game” was January 28th against Buffalo in a 2 goal, 1 assist, +3 game in which he had the OTGWG. He was injured against the Blue Jackets the next game and missed the next 5 games up to the Olympic Break. So, in 10 games, he had two “very nice games”.

    On the other hand….I cannot find a “very nice game” from John Carlson in recent months.

  • Barrett

    Against the Flyers, which your original comment was in reference to, neither Green or Orlov played bad defensively. The worst play obviously was the penalty by Orlov, but that didn’t sink the team. His 2 goals still gave them a 1 goal cushion.

  • Chris Cerullo

    You’re literally delusional about Carlson. The game against Florida maybe? Only defenseman on our team not on the ice for a goal?

  • Barrett

    i didn’t classify them as very nice games, just nice games.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    That defensive turtle. Prevent defense prevents you from winning! Especially when your defense sucks.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    I’d rather have Carlson on the point taking those clap bombs than Green trying to break the glass with late wrist shot bullets.

  • MuzzMuzzington

    Nice try, George.

  • Guru Too

    Wow…really? We may have one on one skill players but not a team. They left Holtby to try and win the game by himself. Without him it could have been 7 or 8 goals. No way do we play playoff hockey. You can whine and cry about the Flyers, but Boston plays a similar style (only better) with Lucic and Chara, but they can win a series or two in the playoffs.

  • Graham Dumas

    I don’t know if that’s exactly fair, but he hasn’t looked like himself recently for sure.

  • Barrett

    I’d rather have Green on the point keeping the puck inside the blue line than Carlson letting it get past him and having to rely on Ovechkin to actually play defense to not give up a short handed break away goal.

  • PIT isn’t the best example of a deep team (CHI or BOS would be the best I think), but your point about the Caps is valid.

  • CapsFanBen

    the caps do not deserve to make the playoffs if they couldn’t win this game in regulation. they should trade grabo at the deadline.

  • riggorules

    His OCD handedness issue also comes into play as he only allows righties to take faceoffs on the left dot, and vice versa, instead of just putting your best faceoff guy out there period.

  • riggorules

    Yeah, this was a bad one for Carlson, but he’s had much fewer of these than Green this season. I like 52, but there was the game he was just benched for the third period, his three-penalty first period game, his streak of not doing anything to stop 2-on-1’s. He’s been up-and-down a lot more than 74, imo.

  • peach

    So does anyone wanna talk about why when the game was on the line, Adam Oates saw fit to put OV, Backie, Laich, Green, And Orlov out on the ice with a minute thirty left in the third? There is only one player I named that can be thought of as a defensive minded player and that Laich. So it really isn’t a surprise that the flyers scored that goal, Oates made a bad call in my opinion and it cost the team the game.

  • Michael Reschly

    >I hope Ryan Miller has a blast in St Louis because the Caps already have their franchise goalie.

    “Halak just came over from St. Louis in the Ryan Miller deal, but there is speculation that he won’t be staying with the Sabres for long. Jhonas Enroth will start Monday and should be the Sabres’ starter for the rest of the season. The Minnesota Wild and Washington Capitals are reportedly looking to improve their goaltenders.” — http://espn.go.com/nhl/player/_/id/3116/jaroslav-halak

  • JenniferH

    And this is why I wanted to enjoy yesterday’s game so much without worrying about the problems the Caps have. Because I knew sooner or later this kinda of crap would come. *sigh* I just wish sooner hadn’t come so soon.

    Orlov was having SUCH a great game, and that *&_%& major. SERIOUSLY!? What was he thinking?! Honestly! So, so, so dumb. That just completely killed our momentum and gave them all the mojo they needed to get it going.

    Holts was absolutely amazing though. Just kicked it into high gear. Fan-freaking-tastic! Onto Wednesday’s game. Sigh.

  • Owen Johnson

    Yeah, anyone who said Holtby was bad today clearly were watching a different game. He robbed the Flyers of at least 3 goals.

  • Emily Wright

    Sometimes I think the Caps are trying to tap into some source of lost genius or gimmicky cleverness instead of doing just a little bit of housekeeping in terms of maintenance and small, meaningful adjustments. This piece got me thinking: jamesclear.com/marginal-gains

    Although everybody knows my thoughts on the defensive pairings, (Stee-vie! Stee-vie!) I think we could probably win with nearly any permutation of available lineup with a more blue-collar, incremental approach to improvement.

    At least Holts got props on NHL Network with 2 out of the 3 top plays of the night.

  • RT23

    Caps fans need to understand the nature of offensive defensemen. They are going to give up goals at times but the good ones create more than they cost us. Not understanding this has made us not appreciate players like Larry Murphy and Gonchar and in the past. Green has struggled with injuries and trying to yoyo between the run+gun Boudreau style and pack-it-in Hunter style but he can still be a huge offensive weapon. Orlov may never be quite that good but still has a big offensive upside. I’ve actually been surprised how well they’ve done together but the should really be on separate lines, each with a reliable D oriented partner.

  • Hockey mom

    A million times YES! That was a great article and it totally fits this group…It’s not the one major thing that turns the tide, it’s the small build up, for or against that we need to manage and control.

    I wish Oleksy was back, too…

  • Hockey mom

    My guess is that the initials stuck on their shoulders are supposed to mean that they are leaders of this team. As such, they should be our go-to guys and the guys that make things happen…SHOULD being the operative word.