Third-period surge helps Flyers ground Capitals

WASHINGTON (Ticker) — Scott Hartnell, All-Star Jeff Carter and
Arron Asham scored in just over a three-minute span in the third
period as the Philadelphia Flyers scored four unanswered goals
en route to a 4-2 triumph over the Washington Capitals on

Rookie Claude Giroux netted a power-play goal, Joffrey Lupul
notched a pair of assists and Antero Niittymaki turned aside 33
shots for Philadelphia, which improved to 6-2-0 in its last
eight contests.

“We’ve got like 24 games left. I didn’t realize it, but I looked
at the standings before the game and we’re only in the playoffs
by four points, I think, so it’s a huge two points,” Carter

“That’s a game where we played 60 minutes of hard hockey,”
captain Mike Richards said. “It was physical – just like the
Pittsburgh game (a 5-4 loss on Sunday) with the intensity and
the physical play. We did a lot of good things and kept with
the game plan and ended up with the win.”

Alex Ovechkin netted his league-leading 44th goal of the season
and added an assist for Washington, which fell to 4-2-0 in its
last six games.

“I think in the third period we have to give them credit – they
outcompeted us in the third period and won the puck battles,”
center Brooks Laich said. “They went to our net and they paid
the price in front and they capitalized on their chances. We
knew they were going to do that.

“We knew they were going to play physical and be tough to play
against and tonight they just beat us.”

Nicklas Backstrom added a power-play goal and Jose Theodore
finished with 33 saves for the Capitals, who saw their 13-game
home winning streak against Eastern Conference rivals come to an

“It’s just good to know that we can win on the road against a
team as good as Washington,” Flyers coach John Stevens said.

READ ALSO:  Panthers could be without Huberdeau until March, no timeline for Barkov

With the Capitals nursing a 2-1 advantage, Hartnell leveled the
contest just 9:11 into third period with his 22nd goal of the

After Carter added his 35th goal of the season 85 seconds later,
Asham scored nearly two minutes later to give Philadelphia a 4-2
advantage. In total, the Flyers scored three goals in a
3-minute, 19-second span.

“Arron had a great goal – not just a goal but a heck of a move
by Ash there,” Stevens said. “They got the puck in deep, they
hunted some loose pucks down there, they got it turned over and
took it hard to the net.

“You’re happy for those (fourth-line) guys. They play so hard
and they do the dirty work, so to see Ash get a goal like that
is great.”

Backstrom opened the scoring 1:48 into the first period after
backhanding the puck past Niittymaki for his 16th goal of the
campaign. The Swede has three goals and seven assists during
his seven-game point streak.

Ovechkin doubled the advantage 4:19 into the second period after
collecting a failed clearing attempt by Carter and wristing the
puck past Niittymaki.

“The first five or 10 minutes was kind of all over the place,
but I kind of settled down after that,” Niittymaki said. “Made
a couple of saves and after that I felt really comfortable.”

“We had a couple good chances early on, a couple breakaways, and
we needed to put those home to finish them off and we didn’t do
it,” Capitals defenseman Tom Poti said. “We didn’t get the
result we wanted.”

With his team on a 5-on-3 power play, Giroux cut the deficit in
half nearly five minutes later.