Instant analysis: Flyers 5, Capitals 2

Instant analysis: Flyers 5, Capitals 2
December 17, 2013, 10:00 pm
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Wilson's big hit sparks fights vs. Flyers

Washington Capitals right wing Tom Wilson (43) fights Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Nicklas Grossmann (8) during the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Wilson received a game misconduct on the play preceding the fight.

(Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 5-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night at the WellsFargoCenter:

How it happened: The Caps and Flyers were locked in a 2-2 tie late in the second period when a 5-minute charging major assessed to Caps rookie right wing Tom Wilson changed the complexion of the game. Mark Streit and Jake Voracek scored on the long man-advantege to give the Flyers a two-goal lead. Unlike Sunday afternoon, the Capitals failed to rally back for a win.

What it means: The Capitals’ loss [18-13-3, 39 points] was their first in regulation since Dec. 3, snapping a 4-0-1 streak. It also reduced their lead over the Flyers [15-15-4, 34 points] to five points. The second-place Caps remain 10 points behind the first-place Penguins and four points ahead of the third-place Carolina Hurricanes.

Ovi’s quest: Ovechkin’s power-play goal  40 seconds into the second period was his league-high 28th goal of the season and 12th on the power play. He now has 28 goals in 32 games this season. Ovechkin now has 399 career goals in 633 career games. If he scores on Friday night against the Carolina Hurricanes he will become the sixth fasted player in NHL history to score 400 goals. Only Wayne Gretzky, Mike Bossy, Mario Lemieux, Brett Hull and Jari Kurri have gotten there faster.

Just sayin’: Although Tom Wilson is likely to face a hearing for his hit on Brayden Schenn it is worth noting that a few minutes earlier the Flyers had littered the ice with fallen Capitals. First, Steve Downie checked Dmitry Orlov hard into the boards at one end of the ice, then Coburn ran Marcus Johansson into the boards. A few Capitals fans may also remember that it was Brayden Schenn who dropped the gloves with Alex Urbom during that Nov. 1 melee.

Busy night: Caps goalie Braden Holtby saw plenty of rubber in his first game action in seven days, allowing five goals on 35 shots. He had a good view of Jake Voracek’s first goal, a snap shot past his blocker that came on a 2-on-1. It was tough to fault Holtby on the other goals, two of them coming on the power play. Caps defenseman John Carlson fumbled the puck away on Wayne Simmonds’ third-period goal, making him minus-3 for the night.

Roster shuffle: Center Casey Wellman saw his first game as a Capital, skating on a fourth line with Aaron Volpatti and Wilson.

Look ahead: The Caps have the day off on Wednesday and will hit the ice at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday at Kettler Capitals Iceplex. They return to game action Friday night in Raleigh, N.C., where they’ll face the Hurricanes.