After a few games at the NHL level, Rob Zepp’s teammates probably wanted to make him feel like one of the team, make him feel like they were comfortable with him. So they did what they’ve been doing to Steve Mason all season, gave him no goal support.
For 2 and a half periods the Flyers outplayed the Capitals, but the one thing they couldn’t figure out was how to shoot the puck from anywhere that was closer to the net than the top of the faceoff circles. The only way the Flyers could have made it easier for Holtby would have been if they simply dropped the puck in his glove every time. 1 goal was all it took for the Capitals to beat the Flyers and Ruin Rob Zepp’s perfect record.
The Caps struck first early in the 1st period when a shot from Jason Chimera went through Zepp’s 5-hole, but Zepp would redeem himself a bit with a big pad save against Alex Ovechkin on an odd man rush a few seconds later. Actually Zepp would redeem himself for that goal the whole game especially with an amazing kick save at the end of the 2nd period that kept the Capitals one goal lead to one.
For the first half of the 1st period, the Flyers were outplayed. After that, they realized they were playing and found some energy. They were out shot 26-21 in the game and couldn’t manage to put a shot past Holtby, who was starting in his 20th straight game
Over the 1st period intermission Tim Panaccio decided to entertain us with the story of why he was wearing sneakers with his suit, which you’d expect to be interesting because you know, it had a cat in it, but it just wasn’t…at all.
evryone asking me why sneakers w/suit tonight? Pronger the Cat tripped me on steps; stubbed toe; swollen; cant get shoe on comfortably
— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) January 15, 2015
The Flyers started the 2nd period with some leftover power play time, unfortunately they only managed one shot on that PP. After that the Flyers did force Holtby to make some of his better saves of the night when he blocked off a Wayne Simmonds attempt and then robbed Giroux on a breakaway rush.
The physicality of the Flyers-Capitals rivalry was more present in the 2nd period too. Scott Laughton was injured when he skated across the neutral zone with his head down allowing Matt Niskanen to level him. Laughton wouldn’t return to the game, the Flyers later said that he suffered an “upper body injury” and is questionable for Thursday’s game against the Canucks.
“You know they’re going to bring it, so you have to bring it too,” Chimera said. “We had to match their [physicality]. We’ve got a big team too, so we can impose our size on some guys.” Which usually means that the Capitals would throw some dirty hits on Brayden Schenn and board him multiple times.
The closest the Flyers came to forcing an overtime was in the last minute and 23 seconds when Zepp was pulled. Vincent Lecavalier swatted at the puck in front of an open net but missed it completely.
A bunch of injuries:
The Flyers played without defensemen Nick Grossmann who suffered an upper body injury the last time the Flyers played the Capitals and was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, and Braydon Coburn who will be out for about 4 weeks with what people think is a broken foot. The defensive injuries allowed Carlo Colaiacovo to get back into the lineup after 26 games as a healthy scratch.
Scott Laughton is questionable to play against the Canucks in the second game of a back to back series after a hard open ice hit from Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen.
It was also revealed that Matt Read has been playing with a high ankle sprain for the past two months which may explain his poor performance lately.