Early in the day we learned that Ilya Samsonov would be the goalie for tonight.
While his year-to-date stats have been…. not good, he has been steadily improving since his return from covid, and I expect those numbers to continue to improve, as he gets a bigger sample size under his belt.
The bigger news came shortly before warm-ups were ready to start.
Obviously, family > hockey, and we hope everything is okay for the Tiger, and whatever the matter is works out okay.
As far as how that affected the rest of the Caps, they ended up having to go with 11 forwards, and Jonas Siegenthaler slotted in as the 7th defenseman.
The first period was busy at both ends of the ice. Scoring started about midway through the first when the Capitals Captain capitalized on a miscommunication/misplay by the Flyers Elliott and Couturier.
I mean what an absolute rocket from the captain. I’m fairly certain the ping I heard came from the stadium 140 miles away, not from my television.
Unfortunately it wasn’t long until the Flyers tied things back up. They took advantage of the Powerplay created by a Brenden Dillon interference penalty.
Of course, Conor Sheary gave me whiplash scoring less than two minutes later, after receiving a phenomenal pass from Daniel Sprong.
The period was capped off with a fight between Garnet Hathaway and Andy Andreoff.
Not sure why Hath felt the need to drop the gloves with a one goal lead, but hey, it didn’t lead to a goal so it could have been a lot worse.
The second period brought us a milestone as hustle from Vrana lead to a rocket from Carlson for his 500th point.
After that, it seemed like it would be a relatively uneventful rest of the period, (except for a galaxy brain pass from Vrana instead of shooting at the open net). until the 4th line finally got something moving.
Nic Dowd earned a lucky bounce with his hard work in the offensive zone.
In a weird situation which I’ve only seen once before, the period ended before the full 20 minutes as repairs needed to be made to the rink.
The third period started 4 on 4 after Chara and Konecny had a some sort of disagreement at the end of the second. The Flyers used the extra space on the ice to try to mount a comeback. Provorov scored to make it 4-2 Flyers.
Fortunately, the Caps managed to keep the puck out, and Nic Dowd got his second of the game on an empty netter.
All in all, much better than their performance with a multi goal lead than on Tuesday.
The Caps Next game is on Saturday, also vs. the Flyers, and, mercifully at 7pm instead of the afternoon.