Worst start: Someone must’ve accidentally flipped the Capitals’ switch back off between their 2-0 win in Game 1 and the start of Game 2. After dominating the final 40 minutes on Thursday, the Capitals came out flat once again. The Flyers equaled their shot total from Game 1 by out-shooting Washington 19-5 in the first period.
Best goalie: Braden Holtby, who had his third career postseason shutout on Thursday, was tested early and often and was up to the task again. Holtby made 41 saves and, including his last two regular season games against the Flyers, has stopped 126 of the last 130 Philadelphia shots he’s faced. That’s 97 percent. The Capitals are used to seeing a “hot goalie” in the playoffs; for a change, he’s wearing red.
Best power play surprise: John Carlson, who had two power play goals during the regular season, has a power play goal in each of the first two games of the series. For the second consecutive game, Carlson opened the scoring with a wrist shot from the point while Brandon Manning watched from the penalty box. Despite being outplayed in the first period, the Capitals entered the locker room with a 1-0 lead.
Worst miss: From the ‘Hey, That Never Happens Dept.’, Alex Ovechkin hit the side of a wide-open net off a pass through the crease from Nicklas Backstrom early in the first period, when the Capitals were struggling to generate much of anything offensively. He’d redeem himself later on another beautiful assist from Backstrom.
Best hit: Minutes later, Ovechkin was right on target with his crushing check of Flyers center Brayden Schenn into the Philadelphia bench.
Worst goal: Steve Mason made some dazzling saves to help keep the Flyers in the game, but he won’t soon forget the 101-foot “tip-in” by Jason Chimera that trickled through his legs to give Washington a 2-0 lead early in the second period. This goal in Saturday’s Stars-Wild game was flukey. The one Mason allowed, which came seconds after he denied Carlson’s one-time attempt by going to the full splits to make a pad save, was just bad.
Best evidence that Holtby is human: Jakub Voracek cut the Capitals’ lead to 2-1 with Philadelphia’s first goal of the series midway through the second period.
Best goal: Ovechkin moved to within one point of tying Dale Hunter for the Capitals’ record for playoff points when he buried a power play goal from his favorite spot late in the second period. Check out Backstrom’s pass, which goes through T.J. Oshie’s legs.
Best power play: The Capitals scored two power-play goals in a playoff game for the first time since 2009 and they’ve already matched last year’s postseason output with the man-advantage.
Best penalty kill: The Capitals’ PK unit was busy again, killing off four Philadelphia power plays, including a 5-on-3 for 65 seconds in the first period. The Flyers are 0 for 8 with the man-advantage through two games.
Best booms: Ovechkin led the Capitals in hits with seven, but he wasn’t the only one doling out punishment.
Best icing — no, not that kind — on the cake: Backstrom scored with less than three minutes to play and Philadelphia’s Chris VandeVelde hit the post after beating Holtby in the final seconds.
Best preparation: It’s good to see the Wizards’ practice court getting some use, with Oshie and Justin Williams putting up shots before the game.
Worst absence: The Flyers were 35-18-10 during the regular season when Sean Couturier was in the lineup this season and 6-9-4 when he wasn’t. With Couturier out for the series after taking a hit from Ovechkin in Game 1, the trend continued.
Best D.C. sports synergy: Bryce Harper and the Nationals were putting a beating on Philadelphia’s baseball team on the road and the Wizards probably want some time away from Verizon Center, but Redskins defensive lineman Chris Baker was at the game in a personalized jersey.