Flyers-Capitals: Flyers Redeem Themselves With Near Perfect Game

Scott BrodyCorrespondent IApril 13, 2008

From the get go of Game 2 both the Washington Capitals and the Philadelphia Flyers came out hard.

The Flyers were upset that they gave away Game 1 in the third period and this would be a test to them to regroup and pull out one win in Washington to steal the home ice advantage as they make their way back to Philadelphia for Games 3 and 4.

Because of the injury near the end of the last game to Patrick Thoresen (thankfully no surgery was needed to save his man spot), Sami Kapanen was reinserted on the fourth line.

He teamed with Jimmy Dowd and Bradon Coburn, while R.J. Umberger was moved up to the second line to play with Mike Richards and Joffrey Lupul.

With the slogan "Rock The Red" the Capitals fans encouraged their team to storm out on the Flyers.  The Flyers were ready for this onslaught and even though the beginning of the play was very much in their end of the ice, the Flyers had jump and were getting to the puck. This made it hard for the Caps players to get shots or even make good passes.

Just 29 seconds into the game, the Flyers best defenseman, Kimmo Timonen, was called for a holding penalty. The Flyers are known as a bullying team, so they have gotten pretty good on the penalty kill.

In fact, this might have been the penalty kill that the Flyers needed at the start of the game to set them into fight mode.  Early on the kill, the Flyers stole the puck and got a breakaway chance to almost get a shorthanded goal.

For the rest of the penalty, they blocked everything they could and Martin Biron was on his game, stopping any bit of rubber thrown his way.  He looked to be ready to play.

The Flyers also aggressively went after every man with the puck so they had no chance to shoot. This led to Washington only having one shot on net during their first power play. 

At 5:53 into the game, the Flyers were coming off of a shift change and Bradon Coburn had the puck back in their defensive zone. He threw it up the middle to the oncoming RJ Umberger and flipped the puck over Huet to score the all-important first goal for the Flyers.

Approximately nine minutes later, one of the heroes for Washington in the first game, Mike Green, coughed up the puck in the neutral zone. Mike Knuble stole it away and took off into the Washington zone and shot the puck hard at Huet.

The puck bounced off of Huet on his initial save. Jeff Carter roofed the rebound into the goal to put the Flyers ahead 2-0.

Before the goal, the Flyers had to kill off another two penalties both taken by Scott Hartnell. After they scored the second goal with just over two minutes left in the period, Joffrey Lupul was called for a hooking penalty.

Washington had four power plays in the first period and the Flyers didn't allow them to score at all.  The Flyers charged the puck aggressively, getting in the way of any shot opportunities. They especially stopped passes to Ovechkin before any damage could be done.

The Flyers were up 2-0 going into the second period, and even though this is usually their strongest period, they knew that they had a two-goal lead the other day that they had squandered.

The Flyers had to keep the pressure on, play hard, and keep trying to score more.  The plan was executed well, as they kept much of the play in Washington's zone and just frustrated the Capital players all day long.

The Capitals couldn't find Ovechkin, and their leader wasn't able to get them going as he was out of sync all over the ice.  Again, early on in the period Kimmo Timonen was called for holding and the Flyers killed off another penalty, not allowing Washington to muster anything. 

When they did get a golden opportunity, both the Flyers' defense and goaltender Marty Biron were there.  Both Washington and Philadelphia only took one penalty each during the second period.  Now the Flyers were in the same position as they were in the last game, when they had contained Washington for 40 minutes and were up by two goals.

Philadelphia learned their lesson and knew that this third period would have to be played with the same intensity as the other two and there can be no letting up like in Game 1.  Washington came out of the locker room with full confidence after their comeback performance in the third last game.  Things would definitely be different this time.

Early in the third, Bradon Coburn shot the puck over the glass just after Mike Richards was hit hard and got a delay of game penalty.  During the Washington power play, Mike Green was called for hooking as Philadelphia was making their way into the zone shorthanded.

The Flyers had most of the momentum with the puck on the 4-on-4 and Washington couldn't buy a goal, even though they had a few opportunities.  Washington stopped playing like a team and were looking for individual efforts but the Flyers had closed everything up and were stopping Washington right at the blue line.

Washington was obviously out of sync and were getting frustrated.  With six minutes left in the game Washington took a holding penalty and just after that with just over 3 minutes left took a bad interference penalty. 

The Flyers didn't stop shooting during their power plays.  They had 11 shots in just the two power plays and passed the puck back and forth beautifully thus keeping time off of the clock and tiring out Washington.

The game finished with Marty Biron getting the No. 1 star and the shootout win to tie the series at 1. The Flyers will head back to Philadelphia, where the Orange Crush will cheer for them starting Tuesday night for Game 3.

The Flyers executed their game plan perfectly and gave Washington something to think about when they come to the City of Brotherly Love.  The Flyers are truly back with a vengeance!