The Washington Capitals entered Friday night's contest as the worst team in hockey. Losing ground in the standings by the day, they could no longer afford to let close games slip past, whether by coughing up a lead in the third period or simply failing to capitalize on offensive chances.
In any case, the Capitals needed to come away with a victory at Verizon Center against the Philadelphia Flyers and that's precisely what they did. Washington recorded three even-strength goals for the first time this season and showed a new level of late-game gumption to secure a 3-2 win over the Flyers for its second victory of the season as it improved to 2-5-1.
"I think the last week we've been playing better hockey and stayed with it again today. It took 60 minutes, but we got the job done," Coach Adam Oates said. "It's been a few games coming. Guys hung in there and played very good hockey again. Tonight was very encouraging."
While it certainly wasn't a flawless win — going 0 for 5 on the power play with seven shots isn't a helpful trend — Washington simply needed to forge a different result for itself.
After suffering one-goal losses this week to Ottawa and Toronto in which they squandered leads after 40 minutes both times, the Capitals showed they could both fight back and protect their advantage against Philadelphia.
"It was really big. We had a tough road trip here," said center Nicklas Backstrom, who recorded his first goal of the season in the win. "We really needed this one, especially in this position we're in. We need points."
Troy Brouwer, Wojtek Wolski score third-period goals, lift Washington to 3-2 win
Washington Post | Feb 2