PHILADELPHIA | The Washington Capitals blew a two-goal third-period lead and lost 5-4 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night. They picked up a point to improve to 34 on the season.
“It hurts. We’re treating it like we gave away two points,” right wing Troy Brouwer said. “I know we got one out of this but we had them in a good position to win outright, get two points and move up in the standings.”
Instead, the Caps are in 11th, one point out of eighth in the Eastern Conference with 13 games left.
“It should have been good to get two points there but obviously it’s bad from our side,” said center Nicklas Backstrom, who scored the first goal of the night.
Ruslan Fedotenko had the game-winner in OT. Marcus Johansson and Alex Ovechkin had given the Caps a 4-2 lead in the third on two-power play goals.
Kimmo Timonen tied the score with 9.5 seconds left in the third.
“I was tangled up from the save before in front,” goaltender Braden Holtby said. “I tried to get my bearings straight, saw the guy on the right side passed it and one-timed it right through Nicky’s legs and then through a couple other guys. I didn’t see that at all.”
Washington built a two goal lead in the third, taking advantage of Flyers winger Jake Voracek’s double-minor for instigating a fight with Steve Oleksy and fighting with a visor. Voracek might have won the fight, but the Caps seized the momentum when Marcus Johansson and Alex Ovechkin scored 26 seconds apart on the power play.
“Tough kid, handled it,” coach Adam Oates said of Oleksy, who needed stitches to close a cut over his left eye. “They protected their player. Our power play scored two goals, what you’re supposed to do there, and it put us in a good position.”
When Troy Brouwer held Claude Giroux with 7:28 left in the third, the Flyers captain scored 16 seconds later. Brouwer took responsibility for the costly penalty.
“I just tried to get a little body positioning on him,” Brouwer said. “I thought he leaned into me a little bit but I looked at the replay, my stick was in his stomach. They’re going to call that every day.”
After Giroux scored, the Caps held the Flyers off the scoreboard until Timonen’s goal. That made the Wells Fargo Center crowd explode, though not as much as Fedotenko’s goal in overtime.
It obviously wasn’t the kind of ending the Caps envisioned, especially when they led by two with 13:12 left.
“It’s tough,” Ovechkin said. “It’s hard loss.”