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Capitals’ Power Play Pushes Flyers to Brink

It's Obvious: Stanley Cup or Bust for Capitals Bridget Samuels/via flickr.com

Washington Scores Team Record Five Power Play Goals in Rout

NHL

PHILADELPHIA-It’s no secret that the Washington Capitals have one of the best power plays in the entire NHL. In Game 3 of their first round series against the Philadelphia Flyers, their lethality with the extra man was on full display.

The Capitals scored a franchise record five power play goals in a 6-1 rout over the Flyers to take a commanding 3-0 series lead Monday night at Wells Fargo Arena.

It was an emotional start to the evening as Philadelphia honored former owner Ed Snider, who passed away last Monday, before the game.

The team seemed to feed off that emotion at the start of the game as Michael Raffl scored just 57 seconds into the game to get his first goal of the playoffs and give the Flyers a 1-0 lead. However, that would the only highlight of the night for Philadelphia as Washington would take the game over from there.

Marcus Johansson would get the power-play onslaught started less than four minutes after Raffl’s goal when he netted his first of the postseason, and the Capitals first goal on the man advantage, to tie the game at 1-1.

The score remained the same at the start of the second period until Alex Ovechkin netted his second of the series 8:50 into the middle frame to give Washington a 2-1 lead.

In the third period, the Capitals’ power-play would then blow the game wide open.

1:58 into the final frame, Evgeny Kuznetsov notched his first of the series to give Washington a 3-1 advantage with the team’s second power-play goal of the game.

Less than six minutes later, defenseman John Carlson got his third goal of the playoffs, and his the Capitals’ third goal on the man advantage, to make it 4-1 for the visitors. All three of Carlson’s goals so far this series have come on the power play.

Things would get nasty near the end of the game. With 7:43 remaining, Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare hit Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov from behind into the boards, causing an all-out line brawl.

Bellemare was given a five-minute major for boarding, as well as a game misconduct. D-man Radko Gudas and forward Ryan White were also give misconducts for their actions in the melee.

That didn’t sit well with many Philadelphia fans, as they started to throw things onto the ice. Ovechkin and Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds tried to calm the fans down, but it didn’t help much.

Things seemed to settle down when it was announced that if fans continued to throw things onto the ice, the team would receive a penalty for delay of game.

With 5:12 left in the game, Ovechkin would score his second of the evening to extend the Capitals’ lead to 5-1.

After the Ovechkin goal, the Flyers did receive the delay of game penalty as some fans continued to throw items into the rink to give the Capitals a 5-on-3 man advantage.

After Philadelphia forward Matt Read took a slashing penalty with 3:39 left in the game to extend Washington’s 5-on-3, forward Jay Beagle buried a rebound from in tight to get his second goal of the series to set a new franchise for power plays goal in a playoff game and seal the Capitals’ 6-1 win.

Not only did the power play set a new team record, Ovechkin set a record himself, becoming the franchise’s top scorer in the playoffs with 74 points. He broke the record of former Capital great Dale Hunter who had 72 points.

Washington can now wrap up the series Wednesday night (7:00 PM ET, NBCSN, CBC, TVAS, CSN-PH, CSN-DC).

Three Stars of the Night:

1st Star: John Carlson, WSH

2nd Star: Alex Ovechkin, WSH

3rd Star: Nicklas Backstrom, WSH