for this game

Muir, Ovechkin help Capitals hand Flyers third straight loss

Dec 10, 2006 - 3:43 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- It took 269 games, but defenseman Bryan Muir finally has a game-winning goal.

Muir snapped a tie at 7:40 of the third period and Alex Ovechkin had a goal and two assists as the Washington Capitals recorded their fifth win in six games, a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers.

Seeking its second straight win in the "City of Brotherly Love" following a 16-game slide, Washington squandered a pair of leads before getting a key goal from an unlikely source.

With just 14 career tallies, including one in a 7-4 win over Buffalo on December 2, Muir received a pass from the bottom of the right faceoff circle by Kris Beech and shoveled the puck past goaltender Antero Niittymaki from the slot to give the Capitals a 4-3 edge.

"Scoring is always nice," Muir said. "It came in a very timely manner. It was fortunate that it was the one that won the game, and it's exciting.

"Kris Beech ended up coming up from behind the net and the goalie came hard, thinking that he was going to shoot it. I came off the bench and Beech saw me. I had a lot of time to shoot it. I ended up one-touching it toward the back of the net and I found the short side."

Matt Pettinger sealed the victory with a power-play tally in the final minute and captain Chris Clark added a goal and an assist for Washington, which had not won two games at Philadelphia in a season since 1993-94.

"It was a big win for us," Ovechkin said. "We played well with great speed and we played hard. Sometimes you score goals and you don't win, but tonight we got some key goals and we won."

"I thought that system-wise and defensive-zone coverage-wise, we were in pretty good control," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "Overall, I thought it was a good effort."

Simon Gagne scored two goals and set up another and Mike Knuble notched a tally and an assist for the Flyers, who lost their third straight and fell to 3-8-4 at home this season.

"It's the same end of the story," Gagne said. "We battled back and showed a little bit of character, but in the end, it's still a loss for us. It's not good enough."

"It's tough right now," Philadelphia rookie Ryan Potulny said. "We just can't find a way to win. We played hard and had a chance to win the game, but we just can't find a way to get on top in the end."

Last season's Calder Trophy winner, Ovechkin opened the scoring at 6:28 of the first period, when he corralled a rebound on the left side with his back to the net, spun around and fired the puck in for his 18th goal.

"We started off good tonight," Ovechkin said. "We came in here telling each other, 'We have to skate well and shoot.' We were able to get some key goals."

"He is a pretty dangerous player," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "If there is one bit of a fumble or a mistake, the puck is going to end up in your net. It did tonight."

Brooks Laich doubled Washington's lead 93 seconds into the middle session. After chipping the puck past defenseman Lars Jonsson along the left wing boards in his own zone, Laich carried down on a 2-on-1 and beat Niittymaki for a shorthanded tally.

Gagne got the Flyers on the board with a power-play goal at 2:54 and knotted the game with a slap shot from the left circle at 7:47.

"It's always nice to score on the power play," Gagne said. "On the other one, it was a nice play by the defenseman to get the puck to me, and I was able to skate in on a break. I just took a good shot on the net."

But Clark put the Capitals back in front just 13 seconds later, knocking in a rebound from the doorstep for his 10th.

The lead did not last long as Knuble converted a power-play opportunity 2:57 afterward, burying a loose puck for his fifth goal in six games. Making his first start in seven games, Brent Johnson stopped 33 shots for the Capitals, who had their four-game winning streak snapped by Anaheim at home on Friday.

"We wanted to show that we weren't going to get down," Johnson said. "Even though we gave up six goals in that loss, we felt that we had played a decent game. We just followed our game plan in this game."

With six regulars already out of the lineup, the Flyers lost both Geoff Sanderson and Mike Richards to abdominal strains in this one.

"It's not going to get easier, but look on the other side - we're going to give some young guys a chance to play their first game in the league," Gagne said. "We all know that there will be some spots that will be open, and that's going to give the young players a chance to show what they can do."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 2 2 5
    PHILADELPHIA 0 3 0 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 18 (CHRIS CLARK, DAINIUS ZUBRUS)
    6:28
    2ND PRD: WAS - (SH) BROOKS LAICH 2 (UNASSISTED) 1:33
    PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 15 (ALEXANDRE PICARD, MIKE KNUBLE)
    2:54
    PHI - SIMON GAGNE 16 (JUSSI TIMONEN,

    Dec 9 9:44 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 5
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    3RD PRD: WAS - (PP) MATT PETTINGER 10 (ALEXANDER SEMIN, BRIAN POTHIER)
    19:09

    Capitals vs. FlyersDec 9 9:42 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    PHILADELPHIA 3 11:28 LEFT, 3RD PRD

    Capitals vs. FlyersDec 9 9:17 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 2 3
    PHILADELPHIA 0 3 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 18 (CHRIS CLARK, DAINIUS ZUBRUS)
    6:28
    2ND PRD: WAS - (SH) BROOKS LAICH 2 (UNASSISTED) 1:33
    PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 15 (ALEXANDRE PICARD, MIKE KNUBLE)
    2:54
    PHI - SIMON GAGNE 16 (J

    Dec 9 8:45 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 11 (RANDY ROBITAILLE, SIMON GAGNE)
    10:57

    Capitals vs. FlyersDec 9 8:26 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    2ND PRD: WAS - CHRIS CLARK 10 (SHAONE MORRISONN, ALEXANDER OVECHKIN)
    8:00

    Capitals vs. FlyersDec 9 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    2ND PRD: PHI - SIMON GAGNE 16 (JUSSI TIMONEN) 7:47

    Capitals vs. FlyersDec 9 8:20 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) SIMON GAGNE 15 (ALEXANDRE PICARD, MIKE KNUBLE)
    2:54

    Capitals vs. FlyersDec 9 8:11 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    2ND PRD: WAS - (SH) BROOKS LAICH 2 (UNASSISTED) 1:33

    Capitals vs. FlyersDec 9 8:07 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 18 (CHRIS CLARK, DAINIUS ZUBRUS)
    6:28
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 8 8
    PHI 6 6
    GOALIES: WAS - BRENT JOH

    Dec 9 7:47 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 18 (CHRIS CLARK, DAINIUS ZUBRUS)
    6:28

    Capitals vs. FlyersDec 9 7:20 PM