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Goalies fight in Capitals’ 7-0 demolition of Flyers
Joel Ward scored three goals for his first NHL hat trick in the fight-filled outburst.
Ward’s linemate, Jason Chimera, added a goal and three assists, and Nicklas Backstrom and Mikhail Grabovski each had three points as the Capitals (6-7) won for the first time this season when Ovechkin didn’t score a goal.
Ovechkin didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia because of an upper-body injury.
“We’ve just been rolling. (Chimera) has been flying and getting some big goals for us.”
Washington had been 0-4 when Ovechkin, who entered Friday second in the league with 10 goals, didn’t score.
“We worked as a team,” Backstrom said. “We scored on our chances. That’s what you have to do, especially when you have a good goal-scorer out of the lineup.
“Lots of guys stepped up, and that’s exactly what we needed.”
Braden Holtby coasted to a shutout, making 30 saves.
Ward’s third-period goal that made it 7-0 sparked a brawl. Just 9 seconds later, Philadelphia’s Wayne Simmonds fought Washington’s Tom Wilson. Flyers goalie Ray Emery then took on Holtby in another bout.
“As a group, I think it’s a frustrating night,” Emery said. “Fans are frustrated, and we don’t accept that. I think frustration sometimes shows that way.”
Emery received the highest total of 29 penalty minutes. He was charged with leaving the goal crease, instigating a fight, and fighting. He was also ejected from the game.
During the fight, he knocked Holtby off his feet and landed several hits before an official broke it up.
“He didn’t want to fight, but I basically said, ‘Protect yourself,’” Emery said.
In the melee, a total of 114 penalty minutes were handed out. Overall, Philadelphia racked up 99 penalty minutes, and Washington received 65.
“It’s embarrassing to be playing in front of our fans and losing 7-0,” Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. “It’s not acceptable and we need to figure it out.”
“Their line has been playing very well,” Oates said. “A lot of good things are happening because they’re playing very well, playing together. Then you’re in the right spot, good things happen, you get chances and sometimes the puck goes in for you.”
While it earned applause from the crowd, Downie was handed an instigation penalty and a 10-minute misconduct. The Capitals took advantage, making it 6-0 on Troy Brouwer’s power-play goal. It ended a streak of 15 straight penalties killed by the Flyers.
Washington, however, extended its penalty-killing streak to 30. Philadelphia was 0 for 5 with the man advantage.
Backstrom has 35 points, including 11 goals, in 22 career games against Philadelphia.
By Tammy Bruce
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