Fri. Feb 26th, 2021

By Ian Nichols Quillen, Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – Scott Lofton scored the first hat-trick of his career, with Sean Cotturier scoring two goals in his first game following a rib injury and the Philadelphia Flyers winning the Washington Capitals 7-4 on Sunday.

James van Rimsdyk added a goal and an assist, helping his points to seven games, while helping Philadelphia overcome an early 2–0 deficit.

Robert Haig scored his first goal of the season with the first win in regulation in five matches in Philadelphia, and the overall win in three. Joel Farabi had three assists, and Carter Hart made 33 saves.

“It’s a big win after losing two of the matches we had in Boston,” said Flyers coach Ellen Vigneul.

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and two assists for Washington, who lost their third straight despite being outscored by Philadelphia 37-23.

“I felt we generated enough chances, I felt we could score more runs. There’s something that didn’t bounce our way,” said Capitals coach Peter Laviolette. “I don’t think it was a barrage coming at us defensively, but they capitalize on the opportunities that they got.”

Tom Wilson added a goal and recorded three assists for the first time in his career and Nickels Backstrom scored a goal and provided two assists for the Capitals.

Waitake Wensek stopped 10 of 14 shots, before being pulled for Craig Anderson after van Rimsdyk gave Philadelphia its first lead in the second period.

“Sometimes you try and change the pace of a game,” Laviolette said of the swap.

Backstrom drew the Caps at 4-all, even within the final minutes of the second period when he squeezed a spinning backhand shot under Hart from Ovechkin’s feed.

But Philadelphia took a 31-second lead in the third when the Cotturier overtook Anderson, countering Michael Ruffle’s effort.

Larafton completed his hat-trick to give the Flyers another rebound after Anderson’s pad saved Farabee, and the cottier added a near-empty nether.

“It’s good to be rewarded and go to the net and so,” Lofton said. “It’s just a good feeling to help contribute.”

After Thursday’s rare rare night, Ovechkin’s opening goal marked the sixth game in the final seven when Washington scored on the power play. The Capitals are 8-14 when the man gains in that stretch.

Flyers: Van Rimsdick contributed his 100th assist in two stints with the Flyers on Laughton’s second goal. He has 11 runs this season, doing well to break his previous career high of 33 despite a short game of 56 runs.

Capitals: Wilson reached 200 career points with his third assist.

Flyers: According to the team, De Travis Sanheim is unavailable (undeclared) and is day to day. … Couturier was activated from injured reserve before the game. He last played on 15 January.

Capitals: L Jakub Vrana was added to the NHL’s COVID-19 list on Saturday, while R TJ Oshie sat out due to an upper body injury. … C Phillip Melle made his NHL debut.

The Capitals and Flyers meet again in Washington on Tuesday night.

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/hub/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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