Goalies brawl during scrum between Caps and Flyers
PHILADELPHIA -- Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 7-0 win over the Flyers Friday night at the Wells Fargo Center:
How it happened: The Caps inflicted most of the damage in the second period when they scored a season-high five goals, including three in a span of 2:25. By the time it was over, Nicklas Backstrom had two goals and one assist, Joel Ward had two goals and Jason Chimera had a goal and two assists. Troy Brouwer also scored for the Caps.
What it means: With the win the Caps improved to 6-7-0 and climbed over the Rangers and Blue Jackets in the Mediocre [Metropolitan] Division.
Holt-beast: Braden Holtby might have lost his fight with Ray Emery, but he won the game, stopping all 30 shots for his first shutout of the season and eighth of his NHL career.
Name that line: The third line of Jason Chimera, Joel Ward and Mikhail Grabovski now have nine goals and 11 assists at even strength in the six games they’ve played together. Can you get a good nickname out of Chimmer, Wardo and Grabo?
He can shoot, too: On Thursday I asked Nicklas Backstrom if he’d need to shoot more without Alec Ovechkin [league-high 75 shots] on the ice. He said everyone would need to shoot more. Backstrom showed he can drill a one-timer with the best of them on his first goal of the night, cranking a howitzer past Steve Mason after a nice keep-in at the blue line by Nate Schmidt and a perfect pass from Marty Erat.
Frustrated Chief: Flyers coach Craig Berube pulled goaltender Steve Mason after he allowed three goals on eight shots but Ray Emery promptly allowed three more.
Homer on hot seat: Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren took some heat for firing Peter Laviolette after three games, but that paled in comparison to the chants he heard Friday night. With the Flyers trailing in the second period fans began chanting “Fire Holmgren.” There is a groundswell of support in Philadelphia for assistant general manager Ron Hextall to replace Holmgren after a 3-9-0 start to the season.
Slow start: A lot has been made of the Caps’ slow starts this season and despite the result, they had their worst of the season against the Flyers. It took the Capitals 15:05 to record their first shot of the game and that included a power play. John Carlson recorded the first shot with 4:55 remaining.
Check of the night: Flyers left wing Michal [I’d Like to Buy A Vowel] Raffl sent Jason Chimera head over heels and into the Capitals bench in the second period and got two minutes in the box for boarding.
Fight of the night: Braden Holtby had no shot in his fight with Ray Emery with 5:31 gone in the third period. He was spun off balance and never recovered, taking a series of hard rights from Emery before getting back on his feet. It will be interesting to see if the NHL looks into Emery’s decision to leave his crease unprovoked.
Look ahead: The Caps are back in action Saturday night at home against the Florida Panthers. But we know the date you really want to know. They’ll face the Flyers again on Dec. 15 in Washington.