PHILADELPHIA – A three-goal cushion was much easier for the Philadelphia Flyers to protect the second time around.
Jakub Voracek scored two goals and the Flyers beat the Washington Capitals 5-2 Tuesday night for their seventh consecutive win at home.
Two days after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead at Washington in a 5-4 shootout loss, the Flyers held this lead against the high-powered Capitals.
“Up three, the guys talked about it and we couldn’t let that happen again,” said Matt Read, who had one of the five goals. “We took it as a 0-0 game, kept them on their heels. We had to do the simple things, the smart things.”
Mark Streit and Wayne Simmonds also had goals for the Flyers.
Alex Ovechkin and Eric Fehr scored for Washington.
“It’s always hard to come back, especially in this building,” Ovechkin said. “They got the lead with two goals and they just played safe. We had our chances but we didn’t score.”
Steve Mason made 24 saves for Philadelphia, which evened its record at 15-15-4. The Flyers are 12-6-4 since an embarrassing 7-0 loss at home to the Capitals on Nov. 1. They’ll try to go over .500 for the first time this season Thursday night when they host Columbus.
Down 2-1, the Flyers stormed back with three straight goals, including a pair on the same power play in the second period.
First, Read scored his team-high 10th goal on a wrister to tie it at 2. Then Washington’s Tom Wilson received a 5-minute major and ejection for charging. Wilson sent Brayden Schenn crashing headfirst into the boards with a hit from behind.
Schenn sustained an upper-body injury and didn’t return, but the Flyers made the most of their 5-minute man advantage.
Streit fired a one-timer from the left point past goalie Braden Holtby to make it 3-2. Voracek then slid one inside the near post 72 seconds later for a 4-2 lead.
“Anytime you get a 5-minute power play, you have to make sure you get at least one,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said.
Capitals coach Adam Oates was not pleased with the call on Wilson.
“It’s a game-changing call which, which they call the way they think they see it,” Oates said. “I can’t do anything about it. I’m also mad they don’t get an instigator after that, because every single time we have one of our guys hit and a guy goes across it’s an automatic instigator to neutralize the play.”
Simmonds extended the lead to 5-2 in the third period.
“We executed our game plan,” he said.
After a scoreless first period, Ovechkin got the scoring started 40 seconds into the second on a power play. Nicklas Backstrom’s pass from the far side of the net bounced off defenceman Nicklas Grossmann’s skate, trickled away from Mason and went to Ovechkin, who backhanded it in for his NHL-best 28th goal.
The Flyers answered 58 seconds later when Voracek took a pass from Braydon Coburn and skated in with Giroux on a 2-on-1 break. Voracek kept the puck and fired a wrister that beat Holtby to the stick side.
“I surprised myself because I never shoot,” Voracek said. “I always pass. I’ve been that way since I was a kid.”
Fehr gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead in the second period when he scored on a one-timer off a perfect centring pass from behind the net by Troy Brouwer.
NOTES: The Capitals recalled C Casey Wellman from the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Wellman had 13 points (seven goals, six assists) in 23 games. … Voracek has five goals in the last five games. … Washington had played to a shootout in its previous three games. … Simmonds snapped a 10-game drought with the goal.