Washington Capitals take 2-0 series lead after 4-1 win

Caps goaltender Braden Holtby turns in another solid outing, stopping 41 of 42 shots

(PHOTO CREDIT: Washington Capitals Photography)

WASHINGTON (WRIC) — The Washington Capitals took a 2–0 lead in their series against the Philadelphia Flyers, despite being outshot 42–23. John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin both netted power-play goals as the Caps won 4–1. The series shifts to Philadelphia on Monday night at 7.

Perhaps the biggest story of the night was the Capitals’ special team play. The went 2-for-2 on the power play and killed all four Flyers’ man advantages.

Carlson, who scored his second power-play goal of the series, started off the Caps scoring in the first period. His goal was one of five shots the Caps had on Philadelphia’s netminder Steve Mason — the Flyers had 19 shots in the first.

The Caps second goal was not as conventional. Karl Alzner sent a pass to mid-ice and the puck hit the stick of Jason Chimera early in the second frame. As the puck fluttered down the ice, Mason prepared to stop it but the slow moving puck slipped between his pads as he went down for it, rolling into the net.

Ovechkin finished the second-period scoring on the power play by sending a bullet past Mason and netting his first of the series.

Nicklas Backstrom finished the scoring for the Caps, scoring his first goal of the series and pushing the Caps to a 4-1 lead.

Carlson was named the third star of the game, Backstrom was the second star, and for the second game in a row, Braden Holtby was the first star.

Holtby turned in another solid outing, stopping 41 of 42 shots. Backstrom had a three-point night with a goal and two assists. Carlson, a goal and an assist, and Marcus Johansson, two assists, each had two points in the game.

Jakub Voracek scored the Flyers lone goal.

Player Notes (courtesy of the Washington Capitals):

  • Braden Holtby stopped 41 of 42 shots tonight to earn his 18th career playoff win, tying Don Beaupre for second place on the Capitals playoff wins list (Olie Kolzig: 20). Tonight marked the sixth time in Holtby’s career he has registered 40 or more saves in a playoff game and the 16th 40-save game in franchise postseason history. Holtby ranks tied for first with Olie Kolzig in franchise history in 40-save playoff games. In addition, Holtby’s 19 saves in the first period mark the second-most saves in a period by a goaltender in franchise postseason history. Cristobal Huet made 20 saves in the third period on April 19, 2008 vs. Philadelphia and Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves in the second period on April 21, 2010 at Montreal. Holtby has allowed no more than one goal in 15 of his 18 career playoff wins, including each of his last 12 wins dating back to Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference semifinals against the Rangers. Holtby ranks first among active NHL goaltenders (min. 20 games played) in career playoff goals-against average and save percentage.
  • Tonight marked Nicklas Backstrom’s fifth career three-point playoff game (1g, 2a), tying Peter Bondra, Dale Hunter and Alex Ovechkin for first place in franchise postseason history in three-point games. In addition, tonight marked Backstrom’s seventh career multi-assist playoff game. He ranks tied for third in franchise postseason history in multi-assist games, trailing Mike Ridley (9) and Dale Hunter (8). Backstrom has earned an assist in two straight games (4/14-4/16: 1g, 3a) and ranks tied for fifth in franchise postseason history in points (55) and assists (36).
  • Alex Ovechkin’s goal marked his franchise-leading 37th career playoff goal. Ovechkin (11) ranks tied for second in franchise history in playoff power-play goals (Peter Bondra: 13) and sits one point shy of tying Dale Hunter (72) for first place on the Capitals franchise playoff points list. Ovechkin has earned 71 points (37g, 34a) in 74 career playoff games.
  • Tonight marked Marcus Johansson’s second consecutive (4/14: 2a) and third career multi-assist playoff game (4/23/15 vs. NYI: 2a). He is the first Capitals player to register consecutive multi-assist games in the postseason since Jaromir Jagr in Games 2 and 3 of the 2003 Eastern Conference quarterfinals against Tampa Bay (4/12/03-4/15/03: 2g, 4a). Johansson has earned four assists in two games this postseason (4/14-4/16: 4a).
  • John Carlson earned two points (1g, 1a), marking his second career multi-point playoff game (4/17/10 vs. MTL: 1g, 1a). Carlson has scored a power-play goal in two consecutive games (4/14-4/16: 2g) and ranks tied for fourth in franchise postseason history in power-play goals by a defenseman (4). In addition, he is the fifth defenseman in franchise postseason history to score two power-play goals in one series, joining Larry Murphy (1988), Al Iafrate (1993: 3), Sergei Gonchar (1998) and Mike Green (2008).
  • Jason Chimera scored the game-winning goal, marking his sixth career playoff game-winning goal. Chimera ranks tied for first with Peter Bondra for first place on the Capitals postseason game-winning goals list.
  • Matt Niskanen earned an assist and has recorded 23 points (3g, 20a) in 71 career playoff games.
  • Karl Alzner earned an assist and has registered 10 points (3g, 7a) in 47 career playoff games. He ranks 11th among defensemen in franchise history in playoff assists and 12th in points.
  • T.J. Oshie earned an assist and has tallied 10 points (5g, 5a) in 32 career playoff games.

Team Notes (courtesy of the Washington Capitals):

  • The Capitals improved to 21-19 all-time in playoff Game 2s and 14-9 at home in Game 2s. This marks the 11th time in franchise history Washington has led a series 2-0.
  • Tonight marked the first time Washington has scored two power-play goals in a playoff game since Game 6 of the 2009 Eastern Conference quarterfinals on April 26, 2009 at NY Rangers.
  • Washington was 4 for 4 on the penalty kill and improved to 8 for 8 on the penalty kill this series.
  • The Capitals outhit the Flyers 38-36.
  • Washington won 33 of 62 faceoffs (53.2%).

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