With a chance to gain two more points on the Detroit Red Wings, the Philadelphia Flyers had a golden opportunity on their hands as they hosted the Washington Capitals on Wednesday evening.
It was a little taste of a possible first round playoff series between the two clubs and it lived up to the hype.
The physicality started early with Ryan White laying the boom.
It sparked the Flyers. Matt Read would get a chance in front. But, like his play of late, it had everything but the finish.
And Read almost put one home.
Alex Ovechkin, one of the most dangerous goal scorers in the NHL, was on the Flyers’ radar all night. But despite the tight defense, he was still able to make Nick Schultz look like… well Nick Schultz.
Couturier continued his dominant play defensively, sparking offensive counter rushes.
Radko Gudas played some great defense with a charging Ovechkin.
And then Gostisbehere got hit by Jason Chimera. A pretty bush league play, which Ghost was not happy about.
Steve Mason came out in the third period as a man on a mission He kept his team alive with two, beautiful saves.
Matt Niskanen then almost hurt Claude Giroux, crosschecking him in the back of the head.
And then Mason was run into… no call.
But Giroux would return and make an impact. His shot on the power play redirected off of Schenn’s stick and went top shelf.
The game would head to overtime. In the overtime period, Couturier collided into Holtby and the two went at it. Both would receive minors, but the playoff atmosphere could be felt.
It would go to the dreaded shootout, against a team with some of the most dangerous shooters in the NHL. But Mason would have all the answers.
Cousins scored a simple, yet beautiful shootout goal. Then celly’d hard.
A chance to win the game was on Sam Gagner’s stick… and he delivered.
Gagner’s shooutout goal would send those at the Wells Fargo Center home happy. And the excitement from his teammates could be felt throughout the building.
What a win.
***New Podcast (March 31st)***
We discuss a fun week of Flyers hockey, including the huge shootout (!) win over the best team in the NHL, the beautiful overtime game-winner against the Jets, and several hot stories from around the NHL.
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Sons of Penn Radio (January 23rd)
On this week of SOP Radio, we celebrate a thrilling overtime victory, discuss Dave Hakstol’s coaching decision, and forecast potential trade opportunities and prospect development.