Capitals 2, Flyers 1

Preview | Box Score | Recap

WASHINGTON (AP)—The undermanned Washington Capitals found a way to beat the first-place Philadelphia Flyers, who came out flat after a busy night of fighting.

Olaf Kolzig, one of the few remaining veterans after the Capitals fire sale, made 24 saves, and power-play goals by Jeff Halpern and Anson Carter lifted the Capitals to a 2-1 victory Saturday night.

“We have lost a lot of talent but replaced it with heart and desire,” Kolzig said. “Sometimes that can take you farther.”

Michal Handzus scored the only goal—a short-handed tally in the final minute—for the Flyers, who lost momentum after beating Ottawa on Friday.

“This one stinks a little bit,” Flyers goaltender Sean Burke said. “Coming out of here with nothing is a little bit tough to take, and we have to find a way to respond to it.”

The Flyers behaved better after combining with Ottawa to set an NHL record with a combined 419 penalty minutes. There were a few scuffles early, and the only real fight occurred in the game’s final minute.

Philadelphia paid for the few penalties it did commit. With Donald Brashear off for roughing, Washington took advantage.

Kip Miller found Halpern alone in front of the Philadelphia goal. Halpern deftly pushed he puck past an out-of-position Burke, who expected Miller to shoot.

Washington scored its second power-play goal at 10:12 of the second period when Anson Carter scored.

While sprawled on the ice, Halpern deflected the puck across to Miller, who shifted the puck over to Carter for his 15th goal.

“I think we felt good,” Halpern said of the power-play effort. “Once you are able to get in the zone and set up, you always get that touch on the puck. I think Darcy (Verot) drawing penalties the way he was, was the biggest reason we were on the power play. I thought the way our team played put us out there and we were able to capitalize.”

The Capitals were not only missing their recently traded veterans, but also Dainius Zubrus and Jason Doig, who were out with injuries.

“Somebody needs to give Washington a little bit of credit here,” Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock said. “They’ve changed skill people that they couldn’t win with, and they brought in good workers, and all you need to do with good workers is have a successful power play and you can win a lot of hockey games.”

The officials made a point early that this was not going to be a repeat of Friday night’s penalty-filled game. During one skirmish, a linesman rushed across the ice and tackled Brashear to keep him from entering a scramble at 12:18 of the first period.

“You sense that (Friday night) was a big game for us, and very, very emotionally high. So coming into today’s game, we knew we were going to have to find a way to elevate that again,” Burke said. “We needed to be a little bit sharper at the beginning.”

The game marked the second sellout of the season for Washington, thanks inlarge part to a strong contingent of Flyers fans.

Notes

Halpern leads the Capitals with 30 points. He has points in four of six games. … The Flyers have seven players with 30 or more points. … LW Craig Johnson made his Capitals debut after being claimed off waivers from Toronto. … Washington prevented a season sweep by the Flyers, who had won the three previous contests. … Philadelphia’s 25 shots were the fewest faced by Kolzigsince Jan. 18 against Pittsburgh.

Related Articles

Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
A. Carter A. Carter
Washington Capitals
Scored at 10:12 of 2nd

Goaltending

Goalie Team Shot Save
Sean Burke LA 20 18