Danny Briere scored two very big goals and Vinny Prospal had 3 assists as the Flyers thumped the Washington Capitals by a score of 6 - 3.
With a charged Wachovia center crowd completely berzerk, the Flyers came out strong against the Caps in the first period, putting 11 shots on goal, scoring on 3. Briere's first goal featured two exceptional passes; first by Braydon Coburn on the breakout and then by Prospal, while Briere and Prospal were on the rush into the Capitals zone. The goal that really set the place on fire in the first period, however, was the third goal.
Occurring a mere 17 seconds after Scott Hartnell scored to make it a 2 - 1 game, Jim Dowd stole a breakout pass from Washington's Milan Jurcina, and left a drop pass to Kapanen, who made no mistake with the puck. The place was already going nuts from when Hartnell scored; after Kapanen scored, the Wachovia center exploded and you never really felt Washington had much of a chance after that.
There were a couple of anxious moments in this game; specifically, the injury to Kimmo Timonen. Timonen has done a great job in leading the charge of keeping Alex Ovechkin under wraps. Losing Timonen for any length of time will be costly to the Flyers and from the awkward and forceful way he plowed into the base of the Capitals' goal camera, I'd be surprised if Timonen didn't miss some time.
Another anxious moment was the Capitals' third goal, by Brooks Laich, which was almost definitely hit with a high stick. That goal, which should not have counted, made the score 4 - 3 Flyers, and coupled with the Timonen injury, made for some unwanted strang und durm.
The anxiety was eased, however, when Mike Richards picked up a Capitals turnover and set sail towards Cristobal Huet. Richards was hauled down and was awarded a penalty shot by "Donut" Don Koharski. On the subsequent penalty shot, Richards used the "Forsberg Move", where subtle juking gets the goalie moving laterally, and deftly tucked the puck between Huet's legs for the back breaker.
Game 4 will be Thursday at the Wachovia Center.
Did you notice?
- Scottie Upshall goading Mike Green into a fight. It's obvious that the Caps have had enough of Upshall and as offensively talented as Mike Green is, he got his ass kicked in that fight.
- In what might taint Alex Ovechkin forever in the minds of Flyers fan, the flop that AO took in the 3rd period after the incidental skate contact with RJ Umberger. I'm stunned that he wasn't called for diving on that play. Also, did the lip readers catch what Stevens was yelling at Ovie from the bench?
- The Brooks Laich goal, coupled with the Sixers game on Monday night and some of the crap calls the Phillies have gotten lately, has me wondering if someone forgot to give a donation to the old referees and umpires home. As a Philly sports fan, I'm ready for some better luck with the calls.
- Sergei Federov played several shifts on defense in the game, and at some points, the Caps had 5 forwards out on the ice. The concept of putting 5 forwards on the ice is a move I have always been a fan of in the EA Sports NHL games, so I'm pleased to see an NHL coach use it in a game.
- Nice pass from ex-Flyer Donald Brashear on the Caps' first goal. Donald's got some skill and every now and then, he flashes it. Sometimes, he tries to flash it to the detriment of his hitting game, but Brash can play a little bit.
- Finally, just what in the hell was that celebration that Mike Richards did after he scored on that penalty shot? It was either a reference to the earlier Ovechkin dive or some obscure OHL goal scoring ritual I'd never heard of. Either way, I look forward to hearing some theories on it.