Simmonds, Voracek lift Flyers to shootout win over Capitals
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
By AARON BRACY
PHILADELPHIA (AP) Steve Mason and the Flyers didn't want to waste their recent winning streak.
Mason made 36 saves before stopping three straight shots in the shootout, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds scored in the tiebreaker and Philadelphia beat the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Wednesday night.
"It's definitely good to get back in the win column," Mason said. "You go on a ten-game winning streak and you can't let it slide. You can't let it slide and counteract everything we did on the winning streak."
Philadelphia's streak ended with Saturday's loss at Dallas. The Flyers then fell to the Predators in a shootout at home on Monday night.
It looked like that might happen again when T.J. Oshie, one of the league's best in the shootout, beat Mason after Shayne Gostibehere opened the tiebreaker by failing to convert. But Mason stopped Washington's next three shooters, and Philadelphia won it when Simmonds shot high past Braden Holtby in sudden death after Voracek tied the shootout on Philadelphia's third attempt.
"I was just praying (Simmonds) was going to give me one more goal to work with and we were able to pull it out," Mason said.
Mason stopped Justin Williams to end it.
"Mason was a great backstopper for us," Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said. "He's a confident goaltender in all areas of the game. I see a confident goaltender when it comes to the shootout."
The Flyers improved to 4-3 in shootouts while Washington dropped to 1-3.
The game was the first meeting between the Metropolitan Division rivals since the top-seeded Capitals eliminated the eighth-seeded Flyers in the first round of a contentious playoff series last season.
It also was the first of eight games in their next 15 for the Flyers against division opponents. The Metro features five of the league's top 10 teams, with Pittsburgh (47 points), the New York Rangers (47) and Columbus (46) just ahead of the Flyers (44) and Capitals (42).
Giroux tied it at 2 with 20.7 seconds left in the second period. The puck landed right on the Flyers captain's stick after a turnover, and Giroux whizzed a wrist shot past Holtby's glove for his 10th goal of the season.
Eller scored on a rebound midway through the second period to give Washington a 2-1 lead. Burakovsky started the play with a shot on goal, John Carlson backhanded a follow shot and Eller finished the rebound.
The Flyers had tied the game about 5 1/2 minutes earlier on Raffl's seventh of the season. Radko Gudas' shot from the point went wide, and Raffl pounced on the hard carom. His wraparound attempt went off Holtby's stick and just over the goal line, and the goal was awarded after an officials' review.
Burakovsky returned after sitting the last three games as a healthy scratch and scored his first goal in more than two months to put the Capitals up 1-0 with 1:36 left in the first period. After the Flyers turned the puck over in their own zone, Dmitry Orlov found a wide-open Burakovsky in the slot. Burakovsky fired past Mason's blocker for his third tally of the season and first since scoring two goals on Oct. 13 versus Pittsburgh.
"It was a lot of fun to finally get one," Burakovsky said. "When I saw the puck go in, I was kind of shocked."
Burakovsky's third line provided all of the offense for the Capitals on a night when their star, Alex Ovechkin, was limited to two shots and held without a point.
Holtby made 36 saves in regulation.
NOTES: Vice President Joe Biden attended the game. ... Giroux has 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in his last 14 games. ... The teams next meet on Jan. 15 in Washington. They'll return to Philadelphia on Feb. 22 before finishing the season series March 4 in Washington. ... Flyers rookie Travis Konecny has gone 20 straight games without a goal.
Capitals: At Tampa Bay on Friday night.
Flyers: At New Jersey Thursday night.
Updated December 22, 2016