NHL Game Summary - Philadelphia at Washington
(Saturday, December 31st)
Final Score: Washington 4, Philadelphia 3 (SO)
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Matt Pettinger and Brian Willsie both scored in a shootout to lift the Washington Capitals over the Philadelphia Flyers, 4-3, at MCI Center.
Willsie also scored in regulation and Alexander Ovechkin netted a goal in his fifth straight game for the Capitals, who snapped a modest two-game losing streak.
Dainius Zubrus netted the other tally for Washington, while Olie Kolzig made 34 saves.
Sami Kapanen had a goal and an assist and Peter Forsberg also scored for the Flyers, who saw both their five-game overall winning streak and six-game road winning streak come to an end.
Jeff Carter added a goal and Antero Niittymaki stopped 43-of-46 shots, but yielded two goals on three shooters faced in the shootout.
The Flyers were without leading scorer Simon Gagne, who missed the game with the flu.
Pettinger's stick-side goal in the first round of the shootout put the pressure on Forsberg in round two. However, Forsberg's backhand was stopped by Kolzig.
Ovechkin had a chance to put the game away after that, but his glove-side shot was turned away by both Niittymaki and the goal post.
Mike Richards then tied the shootout at one goal apiece with his shot over the right pad after a deke, but Willsie's stick-side tally clinched the win for the Capitals.
Carter's goal 2:57 into the third staked Philadelphia to a 3-2 edge, as he tipped in a pass from Michal Handzus from the deep right slot on the power play.
The Capitals netted the equalizer at the 8:54 mark of the frame. Pettinger controlled the puck behind the opposing goal and sent a pass out front to Zubrus. The winger's initial shot was stopped, but Willsie punched home the rebound to knot the contest at 3-3.
Forsberg's power-play tally with 5:41 remaining in the first staked the Flyers to an early one-goal lead.
However, Washington netted the next two goals in the contest after some nice stick work by Ovechkin led to both tallies.
First, on the power play, Ovechkin received the puck just outside the opposing blue line and carried into the zone. A nice fake allowed him to go through the defense and, after his initial shot was stopped by Niittymaki, the speedster was able to slip the puck around the netminder's left pad to tie the game at 1-1 7:38 into the second.
Midway through the stanza, Ovechkin intercepted a pass in the offensive zone and the rookie quickly fired a pass to the right side of the net to Zubrus. Zubrus had a wide open net in front of him and the winger slammed the puck home for the 2-1 edge.
The Flyers tied the contest before the end of the middle period on a short- handed goal by Kapanen. After a steal at the blue line, Kapanen raced down the length of the ice, dropped his shoulder and fired high stick-side with 4:52 left.
Ovechkin now has 44 points (23 goals, 21 assists) on the season...Kim Johnsson had a pair of assists for the Flyers...Handzus recorded his 23rd assist of the season...Philadelphia finished 2-for-8 on the power play. Washington was 1- for-8 on its man advantages...Washington outshot Philadelphia 46-37...The Flyers finished the month of December with a 9-2-3 record, while the Capitals ended 5-6-1...Philadelphia fell to 4-0-1 on its 11-game road trip...Washington avenged an 8-1 loss to Philadelphia on November 3.
12/31 16:24:37 ET