After being unable to register a shot in the game’s first 15 minutes, the Alex Ovechkinless Washington Capitals dominated the remainder of the game to beat the Philadelphia Flyers 7-0.
Missing Alex Ovechkin because of an upper-body injury, the Capitals seemed doomed by yet another slow start in Philadelphia, but the Flyers weren’t the team to take advantage of that.
The Capitals’ second shot on goal with less than four minutes left in the first period, a one-timer from Nicklas Backstrom, was also the game’s inaugural goal. Defenseman Nate Schmidt saved the puck smartly at the blue line and fed it to Backstrom, who slapped it past Flyers goalie Steve Mason, who didn’t last much longer in net. He was pulled in favor of Ray Emery midway through the second period after allowing three goals on 17 shots.
Generating three goals on the night, the third line consisting of Mikhail Grabovski, Jason Chimera, and Joel Ward kept the pace rolling. Joel Ward scored the second goal of the game, his fourth of the season, early in the second, and his line kept on rolling, adding three more goals, two more by Ward (his first career hat trick), and another by Jason Chimera, who also pocketed assists on each of Ward’s goals.
Backstrom added another tally in the second, in between Ward and Chimera’s goals, his fourth of the season. Troy Brouwer contributed as well, breaking the scoreless power play streak with his Backstrom-assisted goal. Joel Ward’s third goal, the final goal of the game, was also a power play goal.
This was arguably the team’s most complete game of the season. That said with a grain of salt, considering the Flyers are certainly not at their best right now, but it was good to see the Capitals take advantage of an opponent. They held a stranglehold on the game, and didn’t relent, even after a frivolous line brawl in the third period threatened to dislodge well-kept emotions.
Braden Holtby notched his 8th career shutout, stopping 30 shots. It must have tasted all the sweeter to Holtby, who was jumped by Flyers backup Ray Emery in the third period, sparking an unnecessary line brawl between both sides.
Five Capitals had multipoint nights: Chimera finished the game with four points, a goal and three assists; Mikhail Grabovski had three points (all assists), Martin Erat and Eric Fehr had two assists, and Backstrom had three points; two goals and an assist.
The Flyers finished the game with zero goals and 99 penalty minutes.
NEXT GAME: The Capitals return home to take on the Florida Panthers on Saturday night at 7pm.