- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 19, 2016

PHILADELPHIA — The disgust and irritation dripped off every syllable of every word during Barry Trotz’s postgame press conference.

The Washington Capitals‘ coach had every right to be pleased. His team defeated the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series, 6-1, putting it in position to complete a sweep in the best-of-seven showcase on Wednesday.

He also had every right to be peeved. The Capitals lost one of their defensive players, Brooks Orpik, to an unspecified injury midway through the game, then watched another, Dmitry Orlov, be run head-first into the end boards with 7:43 remaining before chaos ensued.

“We pulled the game away and they weren’t interested in playing anymore, so we ended up on the power play for the last seven or eight minutes,” Trotz said. “I just thought it wasn’t good for the game, plain and simple. We’re on national television and I don’t think it displays our game very well.”

A physical series was expected, especially considering the two teams split their fairly tight regular-season meetings. It lived up to billing in the first game, when 21 penalties and 56 minutes — including five penalties levied after it ended — were called between the two teams.

Yet the tenor increased significantly on Monday, when 20 penalties were called and 67 penalty minutes were assessed. Not only were the Flyers flagged 13 times for 53 minutes, including a game misconduct and a pair of 10-minute misconducts stemming from the hit on Orlov, their fans were also penalized for a delay of game as they continued to throw their electronic wristbands, a promotional giveaway, onto the ice in disgust.

“Some of it is self-inflicted, but I think the whole fan situation there … I know they’re understandably upset, but that can’t happen,” said Flyers right wing Wayne Simmonds.

Orpik, Trotz said, would be evaluated on Tuesday and would address the defenseman’s injury then. Orlov, meanwhile, said he was fine — he returned to the game — and tried afterward to express displeasure with the hit.

He and Flyers center Pierre-Edouard Bellemare were chasing the puck in the Capitals‘ zone when Bellemare hit Orlov, forcing the crown of his head to drive into the end boards. The check was the tipping point for tensions that had been simmering all game, with a number of players fighting, clawing and grabbing each other as Orlov, still face-down on the ice, tried to pull himself away.

Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said after the game that “for anyone who knows [Bellemare], that was not an intentional play.” Bellemare appeared to show remorse for the hit almost immediately, declining to join the fracas and standing near Orlov’s head, concerned.

Bellemare was assessed the game misconduct, along with a five-minute major for checking from behind. Right wing Ryan White, who leveled Orpik earlier in the game, and defenseman Radko Gudas were given 10-minute misconducts, leading to the Capitals receiving six and a half minutes of power-play time.

“We took advantage, for sure, of the five-minute major,” left wing Jason Chimera said.

Having already claimed a 4-1 lead at the time of the hit on Orlov, the Capitals seemed to content to merely run down the clock before deciding against it. Alex Ovechkin and Jay Beagle each scored power-play goals to further pad the advantage — for Ovechkin, it was his second goal of the game, putting him first in franchise history with 75 points in the playoffs — to add to earlier goals by Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson.

Braden Holtby had 31 saves, allowing a goal to Michael Raffl only 57 seconds into the game, while Steve Mason stopped 21 shots.

The victory marked the Capitals‘ first win in Game 3 of a best-of-seven series in which it already held a two-game lead. On Wednesday, they’ll try for their first sweep of a best-of-seven series in franchise history.

For all the emotion on display on Monday, that game could be intense.

“I think we’ve played really good in pieces, but if we want to win, they’re going to come even harder and stronger and faster the next game, so we’ve got to up the level, too,” Trotz said.

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