But that changed when he committed a five-minute major penalty and helped pave the way for a comeback by the Philadelphia Flyers.
Vincent Lecavalier scored at 2:45 of overtime and the Flyers rallied from a two-goal deficit for a 5-4 victory on Sunday.
Trailing 4-2 entering the third period, the Flyers started their comeback when Jakub Voracek scored a power-play goal at 11:58. The Flyers were given a five-minute advantage when Orlov received a major penalty for boarding Brayden Schenn at 9:33.
The defining play came when Orlov retaliated for a similar hit moments earlier by Schenn.
"I understand you want payback, but you've got to be disciplined," Washington coach Adam Oates said. "You expect the other team to have a push. But let's not give them the push."
Washington is familiar with the situation. It was the 14th time this season the Capitals blew a two-goal lead.
"(The Flyers) are going to try to intimidate you and we just needed to play our game," Washington forward Eric Fehr said. "That's not the style we play. We don't try to intimidate teams. We try to out-skill teams, out-work teams and try to score goals that way. We have to stick to our game plan and not get baited into theirs."
Washington had a chance to pass Philadelphia in the Metropolitan Division and get into playoff position for the first time since Jan. 18, when it was mired in a seven-game losing streak. But the Flyers left D.C. with an uplifting victory.
"Coming through in one of the biggest moments of the year right now is great to see," Mason said. "For us to be able to force overtime and get the one point at least and then come through and get the second one against a divisional opponent who is right behind us in the standings, it's huge."
After getting outshot 17-6 in the opening period, Philadelphia put 30 shots on goal to 12 for the Capitals.
"First period wasn't good. I thought that we were good after that," Flyers coach Craig Berube said. "I liked the second period. I liked the third obviously."
Washington took the lead as Troy Brouwer passed from behind the net to Orlov, whose slap shot rattled the corner post for his second goal of the season at 6:06 of the first.
Philadelphia tied it at 11:22 of the period when Giroux scored on a slap shot on a power play. Even as some Flyers celebrated the goal, officials initially failed to count it.
But 90 seconds of playing time later, after a stoppage and a video review, Giroux was awarded his team-high 20th goal.
The Capitals regained the lead three seconds after the expiration of a power-play chance as Johansson tipped-in a red line pass from Jason Chimera for his eighth goal at 13:56.
Philadelphia tied it at 12:50 of the second period with a turnover from Washington's Alex Ovechkin, who left the puck near his own goal, expecting a trailing teammate to pick it up. But the Flyers' Sean Couturier was the first one to it and passed to Hall for a blast from the point.
Less than a minute later, Green assisted on a goal by Beagle to help the Caps retake the lead and also assisted on Orlov's second goal of the game at 16:23 of the second to give Washington a 4-2 lead going into the third period.
But that's when Washington fell into Philadelphia's aggressive style of play.
"That's the kind of game that that team wants to play," Oates said. "They're good at that. We're not."
Washington was without Mikhail Grabovski, who aggravated a left ankle injury in the first game after the Olympic break. The injury had forced him to miss eight games before the break. ... Goalie Ray Emery did not make the trip to Washington. He is day to day with a lower-body injury. As a result, it was Mason's third start in less than 70 hours as Philadelphia did not give AHL callup Cal Heeter his first NHL start.