NHL Game Summary - Washington at Philadelphia
(Tuesday, January 18th)
Final Score: Philadelphia 3, Washington 2 (OT)
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Andrej Meszaros scored the game-winning goal 1:07 into overtime, as the Philadelphia Flyers edged the Washington Capitals, 3-2, at Wells Fargo Center.
Jeff Carter scored in his fourth straight game and Claude Giroux also tallied for Philadelphia, which has won three straight and improved to 7-1-0 in 2011.
Sergei Bobrovsky made 23 saves for the Flyers, who maintained the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Alex Ovechkin and Mike Knuble scored for the struggling Capitals, who fell to 1-2-2 in their last five games.
Michal Neuvirth started between the pipes for the Caps, but left after the first period with an apparent lower-body injury. Semyon Varlamov made 20 saves on 22 shots in relief.
"He is day-to-day with a lower body injury," said Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau. "You could tell on the first goal that he didn't move that well. He was able to gut it out for the rest of the period."
After the Caps rallied from a two-goal deficit in the third period, the contest went into the extra session. Just beyond the opening minute of OT, Matt Carle carried the puck into the zone, kept control near the right circle and sent a pass back to Meszaros, who fired home a wrister from the high slot -- with help from a timely screen by James van Riemsdyk -- as the home crowd erupted in celebration.
"I wanted to shoot -- I yelled at Carle to pass it," said Meszaros. "I was just trying to hit the net and I shot it and it went in."
Philadelphia now leads the season series, 2-1. Each game has been decided after regulation.
The Flyers wasted little time and grabbed a 1-0 lead only 91 seconds into the game via Carter's 20th goal of the season. Carter streaked down the right-wing side, hustled around Caps defenseman John Carlson, skated behind the net and tucked home a stuffer at the left post.
Philadelphia's second goal -- scored at the 13:38 mark of the second stanza -- again saw Carter at the center of the action. Excellent forechecking and strong puck control led to minute-plus stretch of cycling and consistent pressure on Varlamov.
The hard work eventually paid off. Carter held control along the goal line to the right of the net and sent a backhand pass into the low slot for Giroux, who followed his own rebound and punched home his 18th goal from in close.
"There are a good team, they play well, and their record shows it," said Washington forward Matt Hendricks.
With under four minutes to go in the second, Jason Chimera was all alone at the right post after a cross-ice pass from Ovechkin, but Bobrovsky was quicker with the pad save.
Bobrovsky robbed Chimera again 3:29 into the third with a glove save. Chimera was beyond the Flyers defense corps in the low slot, but his attempt was thwarted.
Washington came to life and tied the score with a pair of goals within a 40- second span. Knuble's 11th goal at the 7:58 mark cut the Caps' deficit in half. A turnover by Flyers forward Ville Leino in the defensive zone led to Marcus Johansson gaining control of the puck. His shot was stopped, but the puck was loose in the crease and Knuble lit the lamp from the right post.
Moments later, Ovechkin's 16th marker of the season made it 2-2. During a scramble in front, Ovechkin, near the left post, barely made contact with his stick after he brought the puck to the ice with his glove and he nudged it over the goal line. The play was reviewed, but the goal stood.
"I don't think we had the start we wanted, but we fought our way back to get a point," Hendricks added.
Earlier Tuesday, the Flyers and general manager Paul Holmgren agreed on a three-year contract extension...There were only three total penalties, two of which were the result of a first-period bout between Jody Shelley and D.J. King. The Flyers failed on the only power-play chance of the game for either team...It was the second goal of the season for Meszaros...The Caps are 9-9-3 on the road this season, while Philly improved to 14-6-2 on home ice.
01/18 23:16:49 ET