The Washington Capitals, who have dominated the Flyers on special teams all series long, had a slow start to Game Four and could never recover. Forced to play most of the night at even strength, the Caps couldn’t generate much offense until the third period. At that point it was too late.
That’s one way to look at tonight’s game. The other? Fanatics, an official partner of the NHL, hexed the Caps.
Late in the third period, Capitals forward Tom Wilson got checked in the head by Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning. As Wilson turned back to retrieve a Jason Chimera pass in the offensive zone, Manning hit Wilson in the head and shoulder with his left arm.
While on screen, Wayne requested a kiss from his wife Janet. The ProStar made duck lips, asking for a kiss in the creepiest way imaginable. Janet declined, which is doubly unfortunate because then Wayne tried again.
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.
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.