Twenty-one-year-old Flyers winger Scott Laughton was badly injured during the first period of Game Four.
Caps starting goaltender Braden Holtby left practice early on Tuesday after colliding with a teammate, setting off widespread internet panic. Barry Trotz later said Holtby, who had been seen favoring his left leg, was fine.
We got further confirmation of this fact from CSN Mid-Atlantic when they published video of Holtby. Holtby had no noticeable limp when walking away from the catering table. He looked perfectly fine.
But discussion of Holtby’s possible injury missed the real point: what was Holtby eating?
Monday night at Wells Fargo Center, Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his first goal in 22 games. It was a gift from the Hockey Gods. Kuznetsov scored after a Justin Williams dump-in took a strange bounce off the boards. The puck ricocheted to Kuznetsov, who was skating alone towards the front of the net. Using sublime patience, Kuznetsov tucked the puck past Steve Mason’s outstretched pad, giving the Caps a back-breaking 3-1 third period lead.
Several minutes later, Kuznetsov was on the ice when he saw his friend, Dmitry Orlov, get shoved headfirst into the boards by Pierre-Édouard Bellemare. As Orlov received medical attention on the bench, a Flyers fan threw a bracelet from the stands, striking Orly in the left cheek.
In the locker room, Kuznetsov conducted a Russian-language interview with SovSport’s Natalia Bragilevskaya and spoke about how the game turned into a sideshow in the third period.
“No fan would be happy when his team is losing,” Kuznetsov said. “That’s how it happened, but it is on their conscience. Our fans have more class.”
Kuznetsov also seemed to be genuinely touched and heart-broken by the pre-game ceremony honoring Flyers owner Ed Snider.
Photo: Len Redkoles
Monday night during Game Three, Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and tallied an assist on a John Carlson power play marker. The three points gave Ovechkin 74 in his postseason career, giving the Great Eight sole possession of the franchise lead. Ovechkin, who now owns almost every major Capitals record, has two more postseason points than the previous record-holder, Dale Hunter.
Hunter, a 19-year veteran and a successful junior hockey league bench boss, coached Ovechkin during the 2011-12 season. He also is the only Capitals captain to take the team to the Stanley Cup Finals.
This record must have meant a lot to Ovechkin, right?
Monday night at Wells Fargo Center, Dmitry Orlov became the target of the Philadelphia Flyers’ rage, as Pierre-Édouard Bellemare sent the Caps defenseman headfirst into the boards. As Orlov received medical attention on the bench, a Flyers fan threw a bracelet from the stands, striking Orly in the left cheek. Although bloodied, Orlov remained in the game and later assisted on a power-play goal by Jay Beagle, making the final score 6-1.
In the locker room, Orlov conducted a Russian-language interview with SovSport’s Natalia Bragilevskaya and spoke about how the game turned into a sideshow in the third period.
“Sometimes you just want to get the puck,” Orlov said. “But when they play dirty against you, that’s not hockey. I don’t even know what to call it. I don’t want to talk about it.”
Orlov confirmed he was “fine,” but said he’d prefer the Caps not “prolong this series.”
Late in the third period, Game Three turned into a sideshow. Pierre-Édouard Bellemare checked Dmitry Orlov from behind, shoving the Caps defenseman head first into the boards. The two teams brawled in the corner while Orlov lay on the ice, dazed.
Hall of Famer Jeremy Roenick called Bellemare’s hit disgusting and “totally inexcusable.” And if you thought that wasn’t bad enough, Radko Gudas tried to fight skill forward Andre Burakovsky during the chaos.
In the second period, Caps defenseman Brooks Orpik was injured after absorbing a painful body check from Flyers forward Ryan White. While Orpik left the game due to injury, this hit will further his legendary toughness– partly because of an image tweeted by @PhillyGirl1437.
On Monday night the Flyers and their fans intended to honor founder Ed Snider, who died last Tuesday due to bladder cancer. The organization gave away bracelets and painted Snider’s initials behind the goals. 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 team’s first season was 1967-68).
But Flyers fans, some of whom had reportedly been tailgating since the early afternoon, showed boorish behavior that only got worse as the the President Trophy-winning Capitals humbled the home team in the third period.
It was undignified. It was an embarrassment. It was– as Al Koken best put it– a “clown show.”
After falling behind 4-1 late in the third period, the Philadelphia Flyers tried to hurt people. Flyers forward Pierre-Édouard Bellemare checked Dmitry Orlov in the numbers, causing the young Russian to slam into the boards head first. Orlov has a history of concussion problems.
It was a chickenshit hit.
He hid behind the official.
Alex Ovechkin just notched his second playoff goal, and Steve Mason is starting to think heavy hockey thoughts.
Let us tell you the story of how the Caps took the lead in Game Three.