Hayes leads Flyers past Capitals


Philadelphia Flyers’ James van Riemsdyk, right, collides with Washington Capitals’ Nick Jensen during the second period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Kevin Hayes scored the go-ahead goal late in the second period short-handed to lead the Philadelphia Flyers to a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

Robert Hagg and Travis Konecny also scored for the Flyers, who improved their NHL-best home record to 14-2-4. The Flyers returned to Philadelphia after a disappointing six-game road trip in which they lost five of six and allowed 27 goals in the defeats.

Carter Hart made 26 saves for Philadelphia while upping his home mark to 12-1-2.

The Flyers, who were home for the first time in 16 days, play the next two and five of six in Philadelphia.

Jakub Vrana and Nicklas Backstrom scored for Washington, and Braden Holtby finished with 24 saves. The Capitals, who entered with an NHL-best 65 points, had won three straight and 14 of the last 19.

Both teams were playing the second game of a back-to-back.

Hayes put Philadelphia ahead 3-2 with the only tally of the second, scoring on a breakaway with 2:18 left in the period. Hayes deked to his backhand to beat Holtby for his 13th of the season.

The teams each scored twice in the first.

Konecny opened the scoring 3 1/2 minutes in, capitalizing on Nick Jensen’s turnover and beating Holtby high over the left shoulder with a wrister.

Washington notched the next two to go in front 2-1, on Backstrom’s ninth of the season and Vrana’s 19th with 7 1/2 left. Backstrom shot between Hart’s legs from close range and Vrana beat Hart on the blocker side from the slot.

Hagg’s slap shot deflected off T.J. Oshie and past Holtby with 41.5 seconds remaining in the period to tie it.

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