Flyers analysis

Flyers rally in 3rd period, pick up shootout win over Capitals

The Flyers are 6-1-2 in their last nine games

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Coming home from a productive three-game road trip, the Flyers rallied for a 4-3 shootout win Thursday night over the Capitals.

Sean Couturier and Bobby Brink scored in the skills competition at the Wells Fargo Center.

Brink skillfully maneuvered around Charlie Lindgren as the Washington goaltender tried to break up his move. The rookie winger said Samuel Ersson does that to him often in practice.

"I told him, he has learned the goalie twitch," the Flyers' netminder said with a laugh. "He knows that's what I do. I take part of the credit on that one."

After collecting five of a possible six points on the road trip, the Flyers improved to 3-0 in the shootout.

The Flyers (16-10-3) have picked up at least a point in eight of their last nine games (6-1-2). Six of their last nine games have gone past regulation.

Since losing to the previously-winless Sharks, John Tortorella's club has gone 11-3-2. The Flyers' 24 points are the most in the NHL over that span (Nov. 10 to now).

"I've been in the league 13 years and this is one of the, if not the, most special groups I've been a part of," Cam Atkinson said.

Brink, Joel Farabee and Owen Tippett scored for the Flyers in regulation Thursday night.

With just under three minutes left in the game, Tippett whipped a shot from distance for the 3-3 equalizer.

Earlier in the third period, Farabee drew the Flyers even at 2-2. All 11 of Farabee's goals have come at even strength, tying him with Travis Konecny for the team lead.

"Big goal at that time. He has been plugging away," Tortorella said. "He loses ice time when I don't have him on the power play, I'm not using him killing penalties, I tried to get him on the ice more 5-on-5 tonight. I'm sure he wants to be on one of those special teams, but he has shut his mouth and just played."

Farabee said he was frustrated with his first two periods Thursday night. Atkinson, his linemate, told him to stick with it.

"He literally said let's just control what we can control and we went out there and got a goal," Farabee said. "I feel like, for me, last year, I really spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself, wishing things were going one way. Whereas this year, I feel like I know exactly what Torts expects and what he needs from me as a player. I really just try to go out there every night and give whatever I can to the team."

Morgan Frost registered two assists.

Brink gave the Flyers a 1-0 advantage in the middle stanza, but Connor McMichael countered for Washington just 46 seconds later.

Thursday night marked the Flyers' first of three matchups with the Capitals (14-8-4).

The Flyers extended their point streak to seven games with a shootout win Thursday night over the Capitals.

• The Flyers were without Carter Hart, who missed the game because of an illness.

As a result, Ersson saw his second straight start and recorded 27 saves. T.J. Oshie scored in the shootout but Ersson finished the job.

The 24-year-old turned away Alex Ovechkin in overtime.

"He just keeps getting better," Tortorella said. "Made some key saves at key times for us. Our goaltending has been good. It has given us a chance every night for quite a while here."

Dylan Strome got Ersson in the third period to snap a 2-2 tie with 10:55 minutes remaining. Ersson was positioning himself for a shot from Aliaksei Protas. However, Protas broke his stick on the shot, which sent the puck right to Strome at the doorstep.

Ersson made an excellent split save on former Flyer Nicolas Aube-Kubel to keep the game 1-1 with 8:06 minutes left in the second period.

But Washington's power play struck about three and a half minutes later as Tom Wilson gave the Capitals a 2-1 lead at second intermission.

Felix Sandstrom was called up from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley under emergency conditions to back up Ersson.

Louie Belpedio was loaned to the Phantoms. The 27-year-old defenseman cleared waivers nine days ago but remained with the big club for its three-game road trip.

Lindgren stopped 29 of the Flyers' 32 shots.

John Tortorella spoke to the media after his team's 4-3 shootout win over the Capitals.

• The Flyers' power play went 0 for 5.

McMichael was called for a highly questionable hooking penalty, which gifted the Flyers a 5-on-3 for 45 seconds at the end of the second period and the start of the third.

But the Flyers came up empty. They're 10 for 92 on the power play this season. Their penalty kill has just three fewer goals with seven.

• The Flyers held Ovechkin scoreless.

The future Hall of Famer sits second on the NHL's all-time goals list with 827, behind only Wayne Gretzky, who has 894.

"I think he's the best goal scorer ever," Garnet Hathaway, Ovechkin's former teammate, said before the game. "It's containing more than anything. He's going to get shots through, so you can try to block as many as you can, but you've got to rely on your goalie a lot."

The Capitals are not the same offensive juggernaut from years past. They came in with the NHL's third-fewest goals per game (2.48) and the last-ranked power play (8.2 percent).

But they are a tight-checking team and don't mind close games.

"Washington played well, they checked well," Tortorella said. "It's kind of a different team right now. It's not that high-offense team. They have three guys in that neutral zone to cross and it was tough to get through there."

• Marc Staal drew into the lineup for Egor Zamula and picked up his first point as a Flyer when he assisted Brink's goal.

• The Flyers are scheduled to practice Friday at noon ET in Voorhees, New Jersey before hosting the Red Wings on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

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