for this game

Capitals use early third-period surge to ground Flyers

Feb 7, 2008 - 5:05 AM
PHILADELPHIA (Ticker) -- A quick burst early in the third period was enough to keep the Washington Capitals rolling.

Matt Bradley and Viktor Kozlov scored 64 seconds apart early in the third and Alex Ovechkin added his league-leading 46th goal later in the period as the Capitals posted their eighth win in 11 games, a 4-3 triumph over the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

Brooks Laich also scored, defenseman Mike Green added two assists and Olaf Kolzig made 31 saves for Washington, which won both visits to the Wachovia Center this season.

With the victory, the Capitals also climbed into first place in the Southeast Division, one point ahead of both the Atlanta Thrashers and Carolina Hurricanes.

"It feels great now, but we know that there is a long road ahead of us," Bradley said. "We can't afford to take any games off. We're looking at this week as the biggest week of the season, and that's how we've been playing."

"They've played very hard and very well," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said of his players. "They deserved the two points. They're a pretty good team. They believe they are a pretty good team and a hard-to-beat team. They believe that when they go on the ice, they can win any game they play."

Mike Knuble, Sami Kapanen and blue-liner Randy Jones tallied and Martin Biron stopped 23 shots for the Flyers, who inducted former goaltender Ron Hextall into their Hall of Fame during the first intermission.

"Every loss feels like you let something slip away and every win feels like it's a big step toward the right direction," Biron said. "There used to be some games that you would lose and you could get it back. But every loss of points this year in the standings is a big deal."

Just 2:01 into the third period of a tied game, Green unleashed a slap shot from the right point. While jumping to avoid being hit, Bradley had the puck deflect off his shin pad and past Biron for his third goal of the season and a 2-1 edge.

"They got a bit of a break on (Bradley's) goal," Biron said. "It hit the ice, then hits him, goes off my glove and off the crossbar and in. They smell a little bit of blood and they will try to go after it and they will keep putting on the pressure. That's what they did."

Only 64 seconds later, Kozlov wristed a shot from the left faceoff dot that beat Biron to the glove side, giving the Capitals a two-goal bulge.

"We were happy being tied going into the third," Bradley said. "We stuck with our game plan and we got a lucky bounce on my goal. Kolzie got a great shot on his."

"We had just a couple of mental lapses," Hartnell said. "You give those guys room and they sure shoot the puck. Kozlov made a nice shot that Biron didn't see."

Ovechkin added insurance at 7:45, grabbing the rebound of his own shot from the left circle and slipping the puck around Biron from the doorstep for a 4-1 cushion.

The All-Star Russian's goal proved crucial as Kapanen converted a rebound with 6:10 remaining and Jones lifted a backhander under the crossbar during a power play with 54 seconds to go, drawing the Flyers within 4-3.

"We had a big third period, but after we made it 4-1, they stepped up their play a little bit," Kolzig said. "I thought that we stopped playing a little too much and we let them come into the zone. Those are the things that we have to work on if we want to be successful."

But Kolzig, who made 17 of his saves in the final period, did not see another shot as Washington hung on for the victory.

"We knew what was at stake, and you could tell that the guys were responsible," Boudreau said. "It reminds me of a football defense - it bent, but it didn't break. We'll do that, hopefully, a few more times."

Trailing, 4-1, Philadelphia thought it had pulled closer midway through the third, when Scott Hartnell knocked in a rebound while also pushing Kolzig into the net. But after video review, the goal was waved off.

"I made the save and the puck hadn't crossed the line yet," Kolzig said. "(Hartnell) just continued to push me into the net. As I hit the back of the net, the puck rolled over the line.

"(Referee Dave Jackson) said that it wasn't reviewable. I thought that it was the rule, too. It's almost like interference. You can't push the goalie out of the way to keep from making the save or from covering the puck, and that's what Hartnell did."

Jackson did not signal a goal on the ice and spoke with replay officials before explaining the ruling to Flyers coach John Stevens.

"They said that Hartnell pushed the goalie into the net," Stevens said. "Whether the puck was already in the net is the question. You can't just take your stick and push the goalie into the net. They had deemed that he had stopped and that he pushed the goalie into the net. When he fell back, the puck crossed the line."

Hartnell still did not understand why he was not credited with his 18th goal of the season.

"The puck was laying right there," Hartnell explained. "I was banging away, just like it was any other play. The goalie had the momentum going to the back of the net and I had guys pushing me from behind. I don't think there was any reason for the no-goal call. If it was because I pushed the goalie into the net, I should have been in the (penalty) box for goalie interference."

After a scoreless first period, Washington struck first early in the second.

Charging down the middle of the ice, Laich received a pass from Green just above the slot and skated in on a partial breakaway. Following several dekes, Laich lifted a backhander past Biron at 2:31 for a 1-0 lead.

Entering with the second-best power-play success rate in the league at 24.8 percent, Philadelphia pulled even during a man advantage later in the second.

With Quintin Laing in the penalty box for goalie interference, Daniel Briere completed a pass from behind the net to Knuble, who whacked the puck past Kolzig with 3:39 remaining in the period to forge a 1-1 tie.

Knuble added an assist for Philadelphia, which had won eight of its previous 10 games - including a 3-2 triumph at Atlanta on Tuesday.

But Stevens was not about to use the fact his team had two games in as many nights as the reason for the loss.

"They played back-to-back as well," he said. "It looked like we lacked energy. We got down and then we got a goal and we decided to hang around to see what might happen. Before you knew it, the puck was in our net and we were chasing the hockey game."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 3 4
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 2 3 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 9 (MIKE GREEN) 2:31
    PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 21 (DANIEL BRIERE, SIMON GAGNE) 16:21
    3RD PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 3 (MIKE GREEN) 2:01
    WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 11 (TOMAS FLEISCHMANN, TOM POTI) 3:

    Feb 6 9:56 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    PHILADELPHIA 3
    3RD PRD: PHI - (PP) RANDY JONES 4 (MIKE RICHARDS, MIKE KNUBLE) 19:06

    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 9:54 PM
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    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 9:54 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    PHILADELPHIA 2
    3RD PRD: PHI - SAMI KAPANEN 5 (JEFF CARTER, JIM VANDERMEER) 13:50

    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 9:43 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 4
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEX OVECHKIN 46 (NICKLAS BACKSTROM, MILAN JURCINA)
    7:45

    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 9:39 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 3
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - VIKTOR KOZLOV 11 (TOMAS FLEISCHMANN, TOM POTI) 3:05

    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 9:20 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - MATT BRADLEY 3 (MIKE GREEN) 2:01

    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 9:18 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    2ND PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 9 (MIKE GREEN) 2:31
    PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 21 (DANIEL BRIERE, SIMON GAGNE) 16:21
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 11 8 19


    Feb 6 8:56 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 1
    2ND PRD: PHI - (PP) MIKE KNUBLE 21 (DANIEL BRIERE, SIMON GAGNE) 16:21

    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 8:53 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    PHILADELPHIA 0
    2ND PRD: WAS - BROOKS LAICH 9 (MIKE GREEN) 2:31

    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 8:25 PM
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    Capitals vs. FlyersFeb 6 8:08 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    PHILADELPHIA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 11 11
    PHI 6 6
    GOALIES: WAS - OLAF KOLZIG
    PHI - MARTIN BIRON

    Feb 6 7:48 PM
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    dcnationals74 Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. FlyersJan 24 7:50 AM