- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 21, 2001

PHILADELPHIA The Washington Capitals were a non-competitive team last night, a fact nobody shied away from.
One night after stomping a decent Montreal team, the Caps collapsed on all fronts and were drubbed by Philadelphia 6-3 at First Union Center, making a contest out of it for only the briefest of moments.
But for beleaguered goalie Olie Kolzig, the Flyers might have hit double figures by the end of the first period while outshooting the Caps 20-4. It was as if the Canadiens of Friday night had changed places with last night's Washington team.
"This was inexcusable we have a bunch of veterans in here," said co-captain Brendan Witt. "That kind of performance is not excusable. It was a really crappy effort from everybody. … We as a group didn't compete tonight like we should have. We had a real bad first, we were lucky to be in it in the second and let it slip right through our hands. … This is not peewee hockey. We've got to hold each other accountable; tonight was just a disgrace."
Coach Ron Wilson was in no better frame of mind.
"We weren't ready in the first and it took a helluva effort from Olie to keep things close," he said. "We were chipping away and actually controlling the first six or seven minutes of the second period, we had a couple of excellent chances, then a defensive lapse and it's 3-2, and they jumped all over us after that. We didn't seem to have the energy or the willpower to withstand a little bit of adversity. We've got to overcome that, it's that simple."
How bad? The game was 39 minutes old before Washington reached double figures in shots on goal (the Flyers were already at 29). Philadelphia had scored on half its four power plays in the first two periods, and officials appeared to hold off calling additional penalties against the struggling visitors. And the Flyers didn't let the Caps' top-ranked power play unit on the ice until the third period.
Eight minutes into the first period John LeClair drew two Caps defenders to the boards, leaving a lane down the middle wide enough for a steam shovel. Not being a fool, Mark Recchi took advantage and scored his first of the season. He scored his second later in the period, finding Kolzig deserted again. He completed his hat trick in the third, shorthanded, and that by itself was enough to beat Washington.
It was the second hat trick the Caps have surrendered on the road this season (Daymond Langkow of Phoenix had the other) after not allowing one away from home for more than five years.
Jaromir Jagr tied the score at 1-1 late in the first with a wrist shot so quick it froze goalie Roman Cechmanek in his tracks; he waved meekly after the shot whizzed past. Andrei Nikolishin tied it again briefly in the second before the Flyers went on a tear and put the game out of reach.
"The first period they played like they were on a mission, and because of our goalie we weathered the storm," Wilson said. "We just didn't get the job done on our half of the ice."
Meanwhile, center Brian Sutherby missed his first game of the season when he was a healthy scratch. Sutherby had centered the fourth line for all seven Caps games before last night but was taken out of the lineup when enforcer Stephen Peat was recalled from the minors. Joe Sacco centered the fourth unit last night with Peat on the right and Chris Simon on the left.
Peat did provide one of the more interesting moments of the night for Caps fans when he fought Ruslan Fedotenko for the third time this season (including exhibitions). Officials let the two heavyweights go at each other, both landing solid haymakers, before separating the two exhausted fighters.

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide