New-look Caps continue offensive outburst with stomping of Flyers originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
With just 13 games left in the season, the Capitals roster, more or less, is what it is.
They have zero dollars — literally — to spend the rest of the way, the trade deadline has passed and now the push for the playoffs is in full swing. And so far, the Capitals’ offense has done its job.
In a 6-1 blowout win over the Flyers on Tuesday at Capital One Arena, the Caps’ scoring kept up its torrid pace with new forward Anthony Mantha in the lineup.
“Obviously, it’s a different style of play right now over here than it was in Detroit, so you have to get used to it,” Mantha said. “Obviously, they love to carry the puck and make plays. I’m all in for that. Hopefully it’s going to go uphill from here and just become easier and easier.”
Mantha scored a goal in his first career game as a Capital and tallied an assist, but he was far from the lone contributor.
Washington pumped in four goals in the first period against Philadelphia netminder Brian Elliott, as six different skaters ended with two or more points. Eleven of Washington’s 18 skaters had at least one point.
The Capitals dominated play in the first period and put 19 shots on the Flyers’ net, which included nine high-danger chances at all strengths. At five-on-five, they outshot the Flyers 13-9 and had a 5-2 advantage in high-danger chances.
“It’s two games,” defenseman Nick Jensen said. “We don’t want to get ahead of ourselves, but I think some things we’re going to attribute to that we’re playing a pretty complete game. We’re coming out in the first five minutes of the game and striking hard, something that we’ve struggled with sometimes throughout the year and then we’re finishing the game with a lot of good attitude.”
After a rough stretch where the Capitals lost four of six with their only two wins coming over the Devils, they seem to have shaken whatever problems they had of late with an 8-1 win over the Bruins followed by Tuesday’s drubbing of the Flyers.
And perhaps more importantly, the powerplay looked crisp, the new line of Mantha, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie added a five-on-five goal and so did the third line with Conor Sheary, Lars Eller and Daniel Sprong.
The top line, which is manned by Alex Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson, didn’t score at five-on-five, but Ovechkin and Wilson added powerplay goals.
They’ll have another reprieve Thursday against the Sabres, who just lost their goaltender to an injury, before the schedule ramps up down the stretch.
They’ll face the Flyers and Bruins before three straight games against the Islanders, two against the Penguins and then two more against the streaking Rangers. So if they want strong tests of how their new-look offense plays against potential playoff opponents, they’ll certainly have their chances.
“I think we saw a complete game the last three games,” Jensen continued. “I thought we’ve seen a pretty complete 60-minute game. That’s one of the biggest things we can attribute to the success we’ve had.”