The Washington Capitals destroyed the Philadelphia Flyers in more ways than one on Tuesday. Six Flyers players got hurt in the 9-2 drubbing. But perhaps most concerningly, the Flyers’ collective pride also got injured late in the game.
ESPN’s Leah Hextall explained from her perch between the benches.
The chippiness began six minutes and 17 seconds into the third period when a melee broke out between the Capitals and Flyers at center ice. Joel Farabee hooked Trevor van Riemsdyk and nearly got in a fight with Conor Sheary. Evgeny Kuznetsov also tried to squirm through the clutch of an official to go after Travis Konecny. Hextall explained why there was so much simmering anger.
“Right in front of me here, Scott Laughton was talking to the Capitals bench,” Hextall said on the telecast. “He was complaining to them about the fact that they left Ovechkin out on the power play to fill the net for the entire two minutes. And the Capitals bench said, ‘Don’t worry about it.'”
The Capitals were blowing out the Flyers 8-1 at the time and Ovechkin was still coming out for every power play. At that point, Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette was giving power-play time to the team’s bottom-six forwards and bottom pairing defensemen (every player except Nick Jensen got PP time), but that apparently was not enough.
With five minutes left in the third period, Hextall had another report.
“The Flyers bench is still giving it to them for Ovi being on the ice during those power plays,” Hextall said. “Tom Wilson just looked right at them and said, ‘How is he supposed to catch Gretzky?!?!'”
Hextall made her voice sound sarcastic to mimic Wilson’s tone.
Former NHL goaltender Brian Boucher, who serves as an analyst during games for ESPN, added that the Flyers were being silly to take Ovechkin being out there personally and the players were not looking at the bigger picture.
In the end, Ovechkin did not score again; his only goal of the night was career goal no. 776 that he scored in the first period to close within 118 of The Great One.
Illustration: Peter Hassett/RMNB
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