Capitals Demolish Flyers
No Ovechkin? No problem.
The Washington Capitals, powered by a Joel Ward hat trick, rolled over the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0 in a seemingly effortless performance from the home team. Perhaps the most passion from the Flyers came in a third period line brawl, totaling 114 penalty minutes.
"Yeah, it's embarrassing," captain Claude Giroux said of the loss. "It's unacceptable. We need to figure it out."
That line brawl featured at least one unwilling combatant, as Ray Emery took on a disinterested Braden Holtby. Emery continued to pound away, as did the rest of the Flyers, on their respective tango partners. Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds and Vincent Lecavalier raged on the visitors. Schenn, Lecavalier and Emery all received game misconducts as well.
If there was any cheering from Flyers fans, it erupted from there.
As a result of the pugilism, Lecavalier and new acquisition Steve Downie will miss at least tomorrow's game. Lecavalier has "facial injuries," and Downie suffered a concussion in an earlier fight.
Plentiful turnovers continued to plague the Flyers as they did on Tuesday against Anaheim.
A listless performance, highlighted by a second period in which the Capitals dominated by outshooting the Flyers 15-9, and outchancing them 11-2, further turning a sour season into a dismal season quickly. Capitals players totaled five second period goals.
All of this without Capitals captain, and goal scoring extraordinaire Alexander Ovechkin.
Two straight turnovers, including one by Brayden Schenn leading to a 3-on-2 led to a big stop by Mason on Ward. After a scrum in front, defenseman Mark Streit softly poked a puck forward into the slot leading to Mikhail Grabovski jamming the puck into the net to start a monumental landslide.
A Jason Chimera breakaway goal and another Backstrom goal through traffic put this game out of reach. After Chimera's goal, head coach Craig Berube called timeout, and replaced starter Steve Mason with Ray Emery.
It did not help one bit. In fact, it made everything worse.
Now after two straight losses, a dismal 3-9-0 continues to propagate a proud franchise's worst start in its history.
An inefficient power play continued to accomplish nothing by going 0 for 5. Giroux illustrated its inefficiency perfectly by shooting three consecutive shots from an identical position leading to three straight blocked shots.
Additionally, before a late second period announcement to go on a power play, fans booed mercilessly, loudly demanding firing GM Paul Holmgren.
Fans cheered the final power play with just seven seconds left in the game.
Even while being blitzed and outshot by the tune of 8-1 late in the first frame, Nicklas Backstrom took a pass from Nate Schimdt after an egregious turnover by Braydon Coburn and rocketed a powerful shot past Mason to make it 1-0.
Ward completed a hat trick, and Troy Brouwer added another goal to truly put the game out of reach.
The Flyers looked like a completely different team during the first period. Downie could not bury a quick chance after a beautiful Lecavalier pass. That was the closest the Flyers would get to scoring all night.
After an atrocious showing such as Friday's, they will get right back to work, taking on New Jersey on Saturday.
Can it get any worse? With those injuries coupled this loss, it just might have.