Friday, December 15, 2017
Sports

Capitals close to sweep

PHILADELPHIA — Alex Ovechkin scored twice, Braden Holtby had 31 saves and the Capitals moved one game closer to a sweep in their first-round playoff series with a 6-1 win over the Flyers on Monday night.

Washington leads a series 3-0 for the first time in franchise history. Game 4 is Wednesday night in Philadelphia.

Ovechkin snapped a tie with his 38th postseason goal and Holtby made the lead stand with his third straight sensational effort in the series. The Capitals scored five power-play goals, four in the third period.

The Flyers lost in their first home game since founder Ed Snider's death last week. Michael Raffl scored 57 seconds into the game and sent a crowd already rocking after an emotional pregame tribute into a frenzy.

But passion alone wasn't enough to fuel the Flyers.

Philadelphia fans showed the wrong kind of spirit late in the game when they tossed wristbands used as part of a pregame lights show on the ice as Washington turned this one into a rout.

Flyers public address announcer Lou Nolan urged fans to "show some class" during the first wave of band tossing. He later told fans the Flyers would be hit with a penalty if they kept throwing the objects on the ice. Sure enough, the wristbands kept coming, and the Flyers were hit with a bench minor for delay of game. Nolan said, "way to go," and the fans cheered as if they were proud of the penalty.

The Flyers dedicated their postseason run to Snider, who died last week after a two-year battle with cancer. "EMS" — initials for Edward Malcolm Snider — were painted on the ice behind each net.

Lauren Hart, the team's longtime anthem singer, sang God Bless America with Snider's name and "67" on the back of her team jersey. The Flyers' first season was 1967-68. Hart's eyes watered and her hands were shaking throughout.

Washington had been 0-7 in Game 3s of best-of-seven playoff series when leading 2-0. But this season's Capitals had the best record in the NHL and thoroughly outplayed the Flyers in the first two games.

Capitals1146
Flyers1001

First Period1, Philadelphia, Raffl 1 (Manning, Gagner), :57. 2, Washington, Johansson 1 (J.Carlson, Backstrom), 4:43 (pp). PenaltiesSimmonds, Phi (holding), 4:28; Raffl, Phi (interference), 11:17; Chimera, Was (roughing), 13:45; Richards, Was (goaltender interference), 19:52.

Second Period3, Washington, Ovechkin 2 (Backstrom, Oshie), 8:50. PenaltiesGudas, Phi (roughing), 2:48; Winnik, Was (interference), 10:43; Richards, Was (roughing), 11:32; Simmonds, Phi (roughing), 11:32; Kuznetsov, Was (hooking), 18:30; Schenn, Phi (slashing), 20:00.

Third Period4, Washington, Kuznetsov 1 (Williams, Holtby), 1:58 (pp). 5, Washington, J.Carlson 3 (Ovechkin, Williams), 7:37 (pp). 6, Washington, Ovechkin 3 (J.Carlson, Oshie), 14:58 (pp). 7, Washington, Beagle 2 (Schmidt, Orlov), 18:20 (pp). PenaltiesOshie, Was (roughing), 6:04; Streit, Phi (cross-checking), 6:04; Gudas, Phi (tripping), 6:35; Alzner, Was (interference), 9:42; White, Phi, misconduct, 12:17; Gudas, Phi, misconduct, 12:17; Bellemare, Phi, served by Cousins, major-game misconduct (check from behind), 12:17; Philadelphia bench, served by Gagner (delay of game), 14:58; Read, Phi (slashing), 16:21. Shots on GoalWashington 7-7-13—27. Philadelphia 11-12-9—32. Power-play opportunitiesWashington 5 of 9; Philadelphia 0 of 5. GoaliesWashington, Holtby 3-0-0 (32 shots-31 saves). Philadelphia, Mason 0-3-0 (27-21). A19,678 (19,537). T2:37. Referees—Brad Meier, Kevin Pollock. LinesmenMatt MacPherson, Brian Murphy.

Around the league: Stars center Tyler Seguin has an injury related to a previous Achilles injury and missed Monday's Game 3 at Minnesota. … Rangers captain Ryan McDonagh practiced for the first time since sustaining a hand injury against Columbus in the final week of the regular season. His status for tonight's Game 3 against the Penguins was unknown.

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