- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 7, 2009

PHILADELPHIA | Danny Briere scored with 1:08 remaining in overtime to propel the Philadelphia Flyers to a wild 6-5 victory against the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night at Wachovia Center.

Briere was able to whack in the second rebound, barely getting it under the crossbar with Caps goaltender Jose Theodore, who had replaced starter Semyon Varlamov, sprawled on the ice.

Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin each had a pair of goals for the Caps. Mike Richards had a hat trick for the Flyers as they prevailed this battle of Eastern Conference powers.

Semin knotted the score at 4-4 with a power-play goal at 8:18 of the third. Nicklas Backstrom made a great one-handed play to get the puck to Semin, who netted his second multi-goal effort in as many games.

Brendan Morrison put Washington ahead 1:14 later when Matt Bradley’s rebound hit Morrison’s skate as he drove to the front of the crease. After a short review, the tally, Morrison’s second with the Caps, was upheld.

The Flyers leveled the score at 5-5 with 4:15 left when defenseman Tom Poti tried to clear the puck out of danger after a Scott Hartnell shot, but it went off Theodore and squirted across the goal line.

After a scoreless first period, the goals came at a furious pace in the middle stanza. Richards put the Flyers in front with a power-play goal after a nifty slap-pass from Matt Carle.

Ovechkin answered with his fourth of the season while on a two-on-one with Matt Bradley at 2:44 — just 67 seconds after Philadelphia went ahead. Exactly three minutes after Kimmo Timonen had put the Flyers back in front, Ovechkin knocked down an outlet pass by defenseman Chris Pronger and then received a pass from Backstrom before flipping a backhander past goalie Ray Emery at 7:33.

It was Ovechkin’s fifth goal in three games. He didn’t score that many until Washington’s 16th contest last season.

Semin gave the Caps their first lead with an early goal of the year candidate. He slipped past Philadelphia’s Braydon Coburn with a slick toe drag and then put a shot off the inside of Emery’s left leg to make it 3-2.

Ovechkin, who also added an assist on Semin’s second goal, has nine points in three games.

Then Richards registered a pair of goals on the same shift. The first came at 13:49 after another diagonal pass from Carle, and the second 18 seconds later after Varlamov couldn’t squeeze Carle’s floater from the left point.

Theodore replaced Varlamov at that point. The rookie goaltender has allowed seven goals on 31 shots since looking great for two periods against the Maple Leafs. Theodore helped stabilize the Caps and made 14 saves in relief.

Note: Defensemen Brian Pothier and Tyler Sloan and center Michael Nylander were healthy scratches.

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