Photo: Rob Carr

After Monday night’s anarchic attempt at a hockey game, the Washington Capitals held a 3-0 series lead. In 180 minutes of hockey, the Philadelphia Flyers took 96 PIMs. Washington’s power play was eight for 17. The Caps, it seemed, were in for a long layover before facing the winner of the Rangers-Penguins series.

“Everything they’ve gotten to a point we’ve given them,” Wayne Simmonds said in the minutes after Game Three ended. “We’ve got to stay out of the box.”

The Flyers have done that the last two games, reducing Washington to five power plays in Games Four and Five. Without that boost, the Caps fell when the series shifted back to Verizon Center Friday night. They outshot the Flyers 44-11 — shot attempts were 82-27 — but lost the special teams battle. Philadelphia had six power plays while Washington’s deadly man-advantage unit was limited to three.

“We were in the box a lot,” Tom Wilson, who did not receive any infractions, said. “Yeah, we had a lot of shots, but we have to do a better job of getting to the interior and staying out of the box. If we play 60 minutes five-on-five, I don’t think you see that team standing up by the end of it.”

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The Capitals came out flying in the first period, and their captain led the way. Alex Ovechkin levied five huge hits in 6:02 of ice time. Thirty-one percent of the game’s first period hits were from the Russian machine alone.

His hardest body bam of the period was on Flyers center Ryan White. As White reeled in a loose puck along the boards, Ovechkin nailed him in the neutral zone. Ovechkin hit White so hard, the dude’s helmet spun around and covered his face.

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Washington Capitals defenseman Brooks Orpik is questionable to return after a hard check along the boards by Philadelphia forward Ryan White.

Orpik was caught in a vulnerable position along the boards. White appears to hit him up high in the back and the head, as well as making contact with the knees. Orpik falls to the ice and is unable to get up.

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Photo: Geoff Burke

The eighth-seeded Philadelphia Flyers are down 2-0 in their first-round series against the Washington Capitals. Despite outshooting the Caps 61-54, the Flyers have been outscored 6-1. The Caps have received superior goaltending, but if you ask Flyers forward Ryan White, something else is afoot.

“We’re playing the Presidents’ Trophy champs,” White said to the Courier-Post’s Mark Trible. “They’re gonna get a lot of calls. Everyone wants them to keep winning. We’ve just gotta keep playing. We’ve got to push through it and keep our noses to the grindstone and keep getting at it.”

White suggests that the officiating has been slanted towards the Capitals so far in the series. He is wrong.

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Montreal Canadiens Pregame: Habs Farce?

Doug Johnson of Puck Buddys offers this game preview. @PuckBuddys.

[Ed. note: for coverage of Rene Bourque, uhhh… check out RMNB on Wednesday morning.]

The Pregame: Fun game! Everyone from a malfunctioning family, raise your hand. Or, if you’re in a public place, just give a little squee inside. Yeah, we thought so. Show me the person who says their family is perfectly normal and I’ll show you a glue-sniffing, trick-turning, psychopathic cat hoarder. You know: like [fill in hated politician here] Oh, biting wit!

And speaking of glue-sniffing (bet you thought it’d be sociopathy), we come to Wednesday’s game against the Montreal Canadiens. Les Habitants. You know: the Baldwin family of contemporary hockey. Or should that be the Donner Party? Either way, they eat their own to the amusement of all.

Oh you bet, we’ve all had a hearty laugh – a long, hard laugh – at the goonish antics of our Quebecois neighbors of late. Like watching the Spuckler family argument spill out onto the un-mowed back lawn, hurling rotting plastic chairs at one another as they jockey for “superiority” amid the weeds and used Timmy Hos coffee cups. Too much back bacon, eh?

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