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With the Washington Capitals playing the Philadelphia Flyers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia on October 14, 2017, and the Caps having finished another fight-filled affair only the day before, NoVa Caps’ Diane Doyle looks at another Caps-Flyers game that took place just under four years ago on November 1, 2013.
After a long road trip to Western Canada, the Caps traveled to Philadelphia to meet the Flyers on the first day of November 2013. in a game that saw the Capitals’ Braden Holtby match up against then-Philadelphia backup, Ray Emery. Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin did not even make the trip due to an upper-body injury.
The first period was a relatively quiet period in terms of scoring, as it was scoreless for much of the frame until Caps center Nicklas Backstrom scored the first goal with two and a half minutes to go, receiving assists from Martin Erat and Nate Schmidt. During the period, the Caps successfully killed off two penalties, but were unable to capitalize on their one power play. In fact, the Caps went the first 15 minutes of the game without a shot on goal. In any case, the Caps went into the first intermission ahead 1-0.
The tone of the game changed early in the second period. After several shots from near the net by both Capitals right wing Joel Ward and center Mikhail Grabovski, Ward fired and scored, assisted by both Grabovski and Jason Chimera. About half a minute later, Zac Rinaldo of the Flyers earned a ten-minute game misconduct in response to Michael Latta of the Capitals. Less than a minute later, Chimera scored on a breakaway, with an assist from Grabovski. A minute later, Backstrom scored his second goal of the game, with assists from Eric Fehr and Erat. The Caps now led the game 4-0 just four minutes into the second period, in a game in which they had started the period with just a 1-0 advantage. Ward scored his second goal of the game with about three and a half minutes to go, giving the Caps a 5-0 lead.
Shortly afterwards, mayhem ensued. Steve Downie of the Flyers instigated a fight with the Capitals’ Aaron Volpatti. Both players ended up with fighting majors, with Downie receiving an instigator penalty and a game misconduct penalty. The Caps were now on the power play and right wing Troy Brouwer scored a power play goal, the first goal of the night that was not at even strength, to give the Caps a demanding 6-0 lead. Brouwer was assisted by defenseman Mike Green and Backstrom.
With the score already lopsided heading into the third period, the question was whether the game would degenerate even more. It is not uncommon for more than the normal rate of fights during a game to break out in games in which the score is heavily in favor of one team. It was questionable that it would actually happen, given that the Flyers’ main enforcer-like players at the time were Downie and Rinaldo. Downie had sustained a concussion in his earlier fight with Volpatti, and had already been taken to the hospital. Rinaldo, who had already served one misconduct in the game, was likely being monitored more closely by the officials and needed to be on his “best” behavior.
Just over five minutes into the third period, Ward scored his third goal of the game on a power play, assisted by Chimera and Fehr, less than a minute after Rinaldo received a boarding penalty. The Caps were now up 7-0.
The game got out of control less than 10 seconds later. Capitals right wing Tom Wilson and Flyers winger Wayne Simmons got into a fight about five and a half minutes into the third period. During their fight, Ray Emery skated up the ice and went after Braden Holtby, who reluctantly fought back. Several skaters from both teams skated towards the goalie melee and two more fights broke out. One was between Flyers forward Vincent Lecavalier and Capitals defenseman Steve Oleksy, the other between Caps defenseman Alexander Urbom and Flyers forward Brayden Schenn. Once the penalties were sorted out, in addition to the fighting penalties for all the fighters, Emery also earned a goalie leaving the crease penalty, an instigator penalty, a 10-minute game misconduct penalty, and a game misconduct penalty; Oleksy, Lecavalier, Schenn, and Urbom earned game misconducts; and Volpatti received a misconduct. Lecavalier ended up injured as the result of his fight.
With greatly shortened benches for both teams, that was the end of both the scoring and of the brawling as the teams were more interested in getting through the game without injury. The final score was 7-0.
Unfortunately, the result of last night’s Flyers vs Caps game was not as pleasant for Caps fans, as this time the Flyers clobbered them. However, the game did not feature any brawls of any kind.
Game Recap From Washington Post Capitals Insider
Washington Post Editorial on Goalie Fights
Box Score from NHL.com
Flyers Daze Capitals, 8-2
Capitals Get Right Back to Work on Saturday at Flyers