Beninati: Groundhog Day

Beninati: Groundhog Day
January 19, 2011, 3:56 am
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011 10:50 p.m.

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By Joe Beninati
Capitals Play-by-Play

So many of these games play out in similar fashions, its hard to keep them separate. Stop me when youve heard this before.the Caps gave up the first goalthe Caps fell behind by twothe Caps rallied like crazy to come back and tie the scoreonly to see it end in the worst way in overtime.

That was the script tonight in Philadelphia. The Flyers played nine of their last 10 games on the road, so youd have guessed they would want to come out and put on a good show for the fans. Head Coach Peter Laviolette went so far as to have his team stay in a hotel last night to simulate road-game conditions.

For the first 40 minutes, the orange and black had a firm grip on this contest. Jeff Carter made a strong individual effort just 91 seconds into the game to give the Flyers the lead. The rangy winger center used his speed and his reach to wrap-around the net and beat Michal Neuvirth to the post.

Neuvirth had complained about muscle soreness at the morning skate, so it was not a surprise to learn that he went to Bruce Boudreau after one period and said he could not continue.

Semyon Varlamov came in ice cold and was very good in relief. He made a spectacular save on Mike Richards in the first 30 seconds of period two which brought him right into the flow of the game.

Carter would set up Claude Giroux for the Flyers second goal. The pass from Carter found Giroux surrounded by three Caps, but the slick stickhandler worked to get free and deposit his second goal in as many games against Washington.

The Caps had a measly 12 shots on Sergei Bobrovsky through two periods, but that would change dramatically in the last frame.

As they did on Sunday against Ottawa, the visitors were skating up a storm in the last 20 minutes to pin the Flyers back on their heels.

Marcus Johansson knocked a clearing pass out of the air and maneuvered around a defender in the blink of an eye for a scoring chance. Bobrovsky made the initial stop, only to see Mike Knuble jam the rebound in for the Caps first goal.

Only 40 seconds later, Alex Ovechkin was alone at the post to squirt one past the Flyer goalie that required video review. The puck caromed off of Ovechkins right glove and apparently he grazed it with his stick before it crossed the goal line. The rally Caps had done it again.

Ovechkin had a couple of open ice rushes that were more like the breathtaking ones weve seen from him in the past. I would have bet that he was the man who would win the game for Washington if it came down to overtime.

For the third time in as many games these two Eastern Conference rivals would go past regulation. Varlamov made a dazzling save on Giroux to keep hope alive for the Caps.

Two defenders would collaborate on the winner for the Flyers. Matt Carle made a strong move up ice, bought himself some time along the boards and then found an open Andrej Meszaros joining the 4-on-4 play late. Meszaros delivered an old school wristshot by the glove of Varlamov to end the night well for Philly.

The guys will get a quick workout in tomorrow while they are still in the city, before making their way to Long Island.

Be sure to check us out Thursday on CSN when the Caps square off with a scrappy Islander team.