WASHINGTON – Another lost weekend for the Flyers with back-to-back defeats, as they head into their mandated bye week on a sour note.
The difference Sunday afternoon at the Verizon Center was the Flyers had ample early opportunities before falling apart in the final period of a 5-0 beating from the Capitals.
After the shooting bonanza by Boston on Saturday, Dave Hakstol's club had a strong opening period Sunday, holding the Caps to just five shots while getting off 13 themselves. But they failed to dent goalie Philipp Grubauer.
It was a mirage. Leading 1-0, the Caps scored four unanswered goals to blow it open. Justin Williams and Matt Niskanen each scored twice.
Was Sean Couturier offside in the second period? The play ended with a whistle just as Radko Gudas scored from the point. Hakstol couldn't challenge since the whistle had blown. It was 1-0 Washington at that point.
How about the puck bouncing past Ivan Provorov at the point, Alex Ovechkin getting it from Nick Backstrom, then faking a shot on Steve Mason before lobbing a soft pass that Niskanen buried into an empty net for a 3-0 lead?
Mason was back in goal and got torched for five goals on 17 shots. His flubbed glove attempt on Niskanen's second goal was simply brutal.
The Flyers had two pretty good shots on their first one in the opening period and didn't score. To that point in the game, they had an 8-2 shot lead on the Caps. The Flyers had three shots on their next attempt and couldn't score. Shayne Gostisbehere got some good looks, too. Their third one was a disaster with a turnover and four Caps clears.
Not overworked. But a glaring turnover by Michael Del Zotto handed the puck right to Andre Burakovsky in front of the net and he buried it on the Caps' second power play.
Caps defenseman John Carlson was injured early in the game and did not return.
Defensemen Nick Schultz (healthy) and Brandon Manning (healthy); forward Matt Read (skate cut).
The Flyers begin their bye week Monday. This is a mandatory four days off. They will resume practice Friday afternoon at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey.