Vincent Lecavalier and Kimmo Timonen celebrate after Lecavalier scored to give the Flyers a 5-4 win over the Capitals in overtime on Sunday afternoon. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)
The Comeback Kids did it again.
Fresh off a 4-2 win over the New York Rangers, the first two periods were far from a good effort for the Flyers. It certainly seemed that playing three games in four days was catching up to the Orange and Black.
A five-minute major and a last-minute flurry of chances helped erase a two-goal deficit. That forced overtime where Vincent Lecavalier played hero in the Flyers 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday afternoon.
“It means we’ve got to play the first and second better, right?” head coach Craig Berube said. “First period wasn’t good. I thought that we were good after that. I liked the second period. I liked the third, obviously.”
Yes, the Flyers made another third-period comeback. It didn't come without trailing due to their own mistakes.
Defensively, the Flyers were weak. Pick several players. With the exception of Kimmo Timonen - who recorded three assists - and Braydon Coburn - who added a pair of assists - the Flyers were a mess defensively. That was how the Capitals out-shot the Flyers, 17-6, in the first period.
In the final 40 minutes of regulation and overtime, the Flyers out-shot the Capitals, 30-12.
"I think the momentum was on our side after [Voracek's goal]," Lecavalier said. "We played the way that we know how to play, that we have played in third-period pushes. Just getting in deep and playing your zone and getting offensive zone time. We get opportunities like that, and it went well."
Lecavalier may have gotten the payoff with the game-winning goal but there were multiple heroes. The game had a playoff atmosphere to it, no doubt about that. Claude Giroux showed the mentality that resembled his performance from the playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins two years ago.
Giroux carried the team through the early stages of the game. He played a ridiculous amount of minutes for a forward in the closing stages. Overall, it amounted to 22:15 of ice time for Giroux. The only two Flyers with more were defensemen Mark Streit and Brayden Coburn.
Jake Voracek possessed a similar game. Being on the ice with Giroux can do that. But Voracek has certainly been a leader as well. It seemed that throughout that five-minute power play, every chance started with Giroux, Timonen and Voracek touching the puck.
Sean Couturier had one assist and Wayne Simmonds didn't register a point, but both were heroes to the win as well. Simmonds had four shots and four hits in the game and was buzzing around the net all afternoon. Couturier was a key figure in the Flyers early penalty kill, which went a successful 6-for-6 in killing off Washington power plays.
FInally, there was also Steve Mason. Playing in back-to-back games on back-to-back days is incredibly tough on a goalie, but Mason survived the Capitals shooting gallery in the first and held the Capitals off the board in the third, both crucial stages. Mason made 25 saves on the afternoon.
Of course, the 11th comeback win of the season for the Flyers wasn't all about heroes.
The defense struggled, notably Andrej Meszaros, Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann. Scott Hartnell played another lackadaisical game. Steve Downie was minus-1 with eight penalty minutes, including a double-minor high-sticking, matching the total of his teammates.
“Being down by two going into the third was obviously tough, going against such a good team,” Streit said. “But we never gave up, we battled back, and we won the game. Not everything was perfect today. We have to improve in a few areas, but overall, pretty happy about the big win tonight.”
The Flyers also had plenty to show for on the Capitals statsheet. Dmitry Orlov may have all three of his goals this season against the Flyers, but the Capitals top two scorers - Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom - were held off the board completely. The Flyers perseverence against Braden Holtby also helped erase the deficit.
At this juncture of the season, every game is crucial. The Flyers know that. So even though this game, like 10 others before it, weren't won as drawn up, the Flyers found a way to win, something that will give them the upper hand as the playoffs approach.
“These games are four-point games,” Giroux said. “It’s us and them. Obviously there’s a couple more teams just behind us, but we’re kind of fighting for that playoff spot. For us to bring that extra point, it’s obviously huge.”
Kevin Durso is the lead beat writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.