WASHINGTON (AP) — Falling flat after an emotional week, the Washington Capitals tag themselves their best course to a division title and showed worrying indicators with the playoffs approaching.
The Capitals misplaced to the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 Friday evening, missing their chance to reclaim first dwelling in the East Division. They path the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points with two video games left on their usual-season time desk.
A victory in their usual-season finale against final-dwelling Buffalo on Saturday and one other Washington loss to Philadelphia hours later would clinch the division for Pittsburgh.
“They’re noteworthy points for us that we let salvage by right here, so there can’t be any excuses,” Capitals coach Peter Laviolette talked about. “We wished to be greater. I appropriate understanding we had been appropriate on our heels too noteworthy.”
Prolonged since eliminated from playoff contention, the Flyers on the different hand outplayed the Capitals, who had been again without captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Justin Schultz resulting from lower-physique injuries and top center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who’s on the NHL COVID protocol list. Rookie goaltender Vitek Vanecek allowed three objectives on 28 photos in his third consecutive commence with Ilya Samsonov moreover out for protocol causes.
“There were times in the sport where we had been the upper crew and there had been times where we place out foot off the gasoline and they’d their chances,” talked about Washington’s Daniel Sprong, who scored his sixth purpose in his past six video games and has 13 this season. “We know playoffs is coming up, and that’s no longer how we desire to play.”
Capitals winger T.J. Oshie scored his fourth purpose in the past two video games since the death of his father, nonetheless the Capitals’ comeback uncover from a 3-1 deficit fell quick.
“We didn’t capitalize on a pair chances, and we kind of dug ourselves too noteworthy a gap to salvage out of,” Oshie talked about. “These aren’t kinds of video games that we desire to contain at this point in the year.”
Flyers rookie Wade Allison scored twice, and Brian Elliott made 28 saves. Joel Farabee took advantage of a defensive-zone miscue by Washington to open the scoring 1: 44 into the sport, and Sean Couturier sealed it for Philadelphia with an empty-salvage purpose with 30.1 seconds left.
“I believed our complete group skated smartly,” Flyers coach Alain Vigneault talked about. “I liked the flexibility we introduced to the desk.”
Ovechkin has missed six of the past seven video games and played a total of 39 seconds in the past two weeks. The six video games out with injury matches potentially the most of any season in Ovechkin’s occupation.
Yet even without Ovechkin, Kuznetsov and Schultz, wage cap-strapped Washington used to be in a dwelling to dress the stout complement of 18 skaters for the foremost time in three video games. The Capitals won the outdated two with 17 skaters.
“It appears like it’s been the ‘Adversity Caps’ this year on many assorted fronts,” lawful winger Tom Wilson talked about. “A pair guys are dinged up, nonetheless I think it says plenty concerning the coaching staff, about administration, concerning the personality in our room that no matter who’s out, who’s playing you’re in a dwelling to win video games and kind of ranking wins.”
Top Flyers prospect Cam York made his NHL debut, giving the crew something to rejoice at the tail pause of a disappointing season. York, who captained the U.S. to a gold medal at the world junior championship and played at Michigan, received the solo lap treatment in the beginning of warmups and used to be paired with historic defenseman Justin Braun.
“The first shift, you received some shaky minutes, nonetheless after that they the truth is feel sincere,” talked about York, who played appropriate under 21 minutes with his fogeys in attendance. “If you salvage into the sport, you’re in it and it’s appropriate one other hockey game. It used to be good to salvage the foremost one out of the vogue.”
The Flyers and Capitals face off for the eighth and final time this season Saturday evening, with Washington looking for a sixth victory in the rivalry sequence.
Be aware AP Hockey Creator Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno
Extra AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports