It was bad all the way around.
A five-on-three went for naught, Steve Mason allowed a blooper-reel goal and the Flyers lost to the Capitals, 4-1, in demoralizing fashion at the Verizon Center in Saturday night’s Game 2 of a best-of-seven first-round playoff series in which they now trail 2-0.
The Flyers are 3-16 all-time in playoff series when losing the first two games.
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The eighth-seeded Flyers outshot top-seeded Washington, 42-23, but the Capitals controlled play and goaltender Braden Holtby was magnificent, thwarting just about every orange and black threat.
Jakub Voracek scored the Flyers’ first goal of the series midway though the second period. It was erased shortly after with a signature power-play bullet by Alex Ovechkin.
Nicklas Backstrom put on the finishing touches with a snap shot weak side in the final two minutes of regulation.
The Flyers fell to 22-20 all-time in Game 2s following a Game 1 loss.
This was one Mason would do anything to have back, a goal that had the Verizon Center mockingly bellowing his name.
At the beginning of the second period, Jason Chimera barely nicked a pass at the center-ice line, causing the puck to slowly skid towards an all-alone Mason. Instead of trapping it, Mason unsuccessfully tried to block it, allowing the puck to somehow trickle between his pads and into the net.
The Capitals took a 2-0 lead on Mason’s blunder, as well as all of the momentum.
Voracek brought the Flyers within one at 9:37 of the middle period when he worked his way through the defense and snuck the puck just past the outstretched leg of Holtby.
Washington retaliated with its expertise: Ovechkin on the power play, by himself in the circle at 17:21 of the second.
It was a bit of déjà vu as John Carlson got Game 2 started just like he did Game 1.
Off a Brandon Manning penalty (holding the stick) like he did in Game 1, Carlson staked the Capitals to another 1-0 lead with another point drive. Unlike Game 1, this time it was not deflected.
It wasn’t Mason’s best performance.
His night was marred by the embarrassing mishap. He made 19 saves and is without a playoff win since April 29, 2014.
Holtby stoned the Flyers on a game-changing five-on-three and continued playing like the game’s best goalie, a claim Wayne Simmonds made during the week leading up to Game 1.
Holtby also gloved a Shayne Gostisbehere slap shot in the third period and finished with 41 saves.
When you think it can’t get worse for the Flyers, it does.
With a pair of cross-checking penalties committed by Jason Chimera and Carlson, the Flyers went on a five-on-three for 1:07 during the first period.
The Flyers recorded five shots over the two man advantages but Holtby was a wall and the crowd erupted when the Capitals cleared, followed by roaring chants of the goaltender’s name.
The Flyers went 0 for 3 in the game, are 0 for 7 in the series and 3 for their last 24, including the regular season.
The Capitals went a perfect 2 for 2 and made it look easy.
The Flyers went 0 for 2 and didn’t make Washington work much for either of them.
The Capitals’ PK has successfully killed 62 of its last 69 opportunities.
After bruising Sean Couturier Thursday night, ultimately knocking him out for the series, Ovechkin sent Brayden Schenn into the Flyers’ bench with a big hit at 12:28 of the first.
Schenn was laid out again in the third period, this time by Carlson. Less than two minutes later, former Flyer Mike Richards caught Nick Cousins with his head down at the red line and bulldozed the 22-year-old.
For the Flyers: Forwards R.J. Umberger and Jordan Weal, along with defenseman Evgeny Medvedev.
The same as Game 2 for the Capitals: Forwards Michael Latta and Stanislav Galiev and defensemen Taylor Chorney and Mike Weber.
The series shifts to Philadelphia for Game 3 on Monday (7 p.m./CSN) at the Wells Fargo Center.