Photo credit: Patrick McDermott

At this point, Capitals-Flyers games seem to devolve into elaborate displays of petty violence almost by habit. There’s no real point, but they do it every game. Sometimes, they even start punching faces. Last year, the Caps got into 18 fights with the Flyers, including the preseason. That accounted for a third of Washington’s fight total for the season.

“Not many guys on this side like them on that side and not many guys on that side like us,” Tom Wilson told me. “Last year there was a lot of high emotion.”

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Orlov - Rob Carr

Photo: Rob Carr

Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia is reporting that the Department of Player Safety has suspended Dmitry Orlov two games for his boarding hit on Brayden Schenn during Sunday’s home game against the Philadelphia Flyers. (UPDATE: Confirmed by the NHL.) Schenn was apparently not injured on the play, but Orlov’s hit constituted a charge, a blindside hit, and an airborne hit.

Orlov was assessed a five-minute major penalty for the charge, during which the Flyers scored one goal. The Capitals went on to lose in overtime.

Orlov will be eligible to return on Saturday’s game against Phoenix.

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The shame.

Dmitry Orlov was having the game of his life. He scoarlov’d twice against the Philadelphia Flyers. He was playing smart, heads-up hockey.

But in the third period, Dima committed one of the most foolish penalties of his career. After taking a rough but clean hit from Brayden Schenn in the defensive zone, Orlov decided it was time for payback a little bit later.

Orlov lined Schenn up, leaped, and hit Schenn face-first into the boards. Schenn’s head bounced off the glass. Schenn skated gingerly off the ice.

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Just like Washington’s last visit to Philly, Tuesday’s Caps-Flyers game was ugly. While the matchup on November 1st took a turn for the worst after some Flyers shenanigans, this time it was all on the Caps — specifically Tom Wilson and his charge on Brayden Schenn in the second period. Wilson got a five-minute major and a game misconduct for his troubles. While I think the hit was unnecessary, Wilson never left his feet. If the hit occurred at open ice, it likely would have gone uncalled. Nevertheless, it didn’t. Wilson will be receiving a call from Brendan Shanahan and will probably be sent to the press box for a few games.

There’s a lot of condemnation for Wilson going around, but Adam Oates is having none of it. He’s sticking up for his player.

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This photo is amaaaazing. (Photo credit: Geoff Burke)

Last time the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers played, the teams combined for 164 penalty minutes, a line brawl, a goalie fight, an angry John Carlson, and a partridge in a pear tree. While both teams said the right things leading up to today’s game, Caps captain Alex Ovechkin couldn’t help but send a message to the Flyers early in the game’s first minute: don’t mess.

[He probably said, hahahahahaha big hit so sickkkkk)))))) but you get the idea.]

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Photo credit: Eric Hartline

Fighting in the NHL has been on the decline. It might be on its way out of the sport. Roster spots for goons are dwindling. Nerds have found no evidence that fighting impacts winning.

Yet on Friday night in Philadelphia, the Flyers decided the only way to save face after a figurative beatdown from the Caps was a literal beatdwn. Once Joel Ward scored his hat-trick goal, Wayne Simmonds threw an elbow to incite a fight with Tom Wilson. Ray Emery, Flyers back-up goalie and trained boxer, skated all the way down the ice and started throwing punches at Braden Holtby — even though Holtby declined to fight.

Steve Oleksy then dropped Vincent Lecalvier. Alexander Urbom fought Brayden Schenn. There was also a bit of loud noises from John Carlson.

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Philadelphia Flyers Pregame: Cheesesteak Losers

Doug Johnson of the Puck Buddys delivers your pregame report. @PuckBuddys.

The Puck Drop: So, class, pencils down. What have we learned this weekend, hmm? Anyone? Anyone?

Well one of the things we’ve learned is that Coach Dale Hunter really isn’t like Coach Bruce Boudreau. As a player or as a coach. Yes, do we remember that? Do we also remember how Dennis Wideman got gipped out of a hat trick by some fusty clock-watchers in Toronto? Recall that? And… and another lesson; do we all remember how confusing it is to watch the Capitals play game to game? That roller-coaster – yeah, remember that? Awake one night, asleep the next? Hmmm?

It’s AH (Anno Hunteramus) 1, and so far we’re breaking even with genuinely mixed performances. A few months back, before “The Troubles“, we spanked the Flyers 5-2 in their own barn, with Hamrlik (remember when he was hot?) knocking in the GWG and Vokoun in the net. And here we are today. It’s cold, but Hamrlik is sorta hot again – or at least not cold cabbage – and Raccoon is once again starting to show a little of his elite-ness.

So, class, this Tuesday, which Capitals team do you think will show up? Hmm? Bueller?

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(Photo credit: Andre Ringuette)

True story. Guy walks into a bar. He immediately pulls down his pants, starts cursing a blue streak, and vomits on the floor before stumbling out the door. Bartender says: “Hey, I didn’t know there was a Flyers game today!”

The Low Down: There’s no question Philadelphia is cursed with the worst sports fans in the history of everdom, and that includes the Flyers. Their arena smells, their colors look like butt, and those are the nice things we have to say.

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