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Capitals run away with Game 3, notch 6-1 blowout win over Flyers

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Capitals run away with Game 3, notch 6-1 blowout win over Flyers

PHILADELPHIA -- Before Monday night’s Game 3 against the Flyers, Capitals veteran left wing Jason Chimera said it was time for he and his teammates to make their own history.

They did just that, getting two goals from Alex Ovechkin, one each from Marcus Johanson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, John Carlson and Jay Beagle, along with 31 saves from Braden Holtby in a 6-1 victory in front of a raucous, then empty Wells Fargo Center. With the win, these Capitals became the first team in franchise history to take a 3-0 series lead.

Ever.

The Capitals will get the chance to record their first-ever playoff sweep when the two teams meet again for Game 4 on Wednesday night (6 p.m. Pregame Live, CSN).

How it happened: Inspired by a moving video tribute to team chairman Ed Snider, who passed away one week earlier, the Flyers opened the scoring just 57 seconds into the game when Michael Raffl jammed a Brandon Manning rebound under Braden Holtby on just the second shot of the game. But the Flyers began what would be a parade to the penalty box just 4:28 into the game and  Marcus Johansson responded with his first goal and team-high fifth point of the playoffs with a power play goal.  It stayed that way until the 8:50 mark of the second period when Ovechkin ripped a snap shot past Steve Mason’s catching glove for his second goal of the series. (The goal also tied Ovechkin with Dale Hunter for first on the Caps’ all-time playoff list with 72 points -- 38 goals, 34 assists). The Caps entered the third period with a 39-0-1 record when leading after two and they poured it on in the final period, getting power-play goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson to complete the rout.

MORE CAPITALS: FLYER FAN GIVES ORPIK 'THE BIRD'

Pretty special: The Caps are now 8-for-15 on the power play in the series. The Flyers are 0-for-13. 

Orpik helped off: The Caps’ only loss of the night came with 8:01 remaining in the second period when Ryan White caught Brooks Orpik with hard, clean hit along the boards. Orpik was helped off the ice and down the runway and did not return.

If Orpik cannot play in Game 4 look for Mike Weber to take his place on a third defense pairing with Nate Schmidt, meaning Dmitry Orlov would move up to a second pairing.

Orlov was the victim of a big hit from Pierre-Edouard Bellemare in the third period. Bellemare was given a 5-minute major and a game misconduct and will likely face a hearing that could see him suspended for Game 4.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.

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NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

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USA TODAY Sports

NHL Awards tracker: Where would the Caps' offense be without Ovechkin?

The Hart Trophy is given to the player judged to be the most valuable to their team. With the Caps currently struggling in almost every aspect of the game, consider this: Just where would they be without Alex Ovechkin?

Washington ranks 10th in the NHL in goals per game with 3.05. Ovechkin leads the NHL in goals with 36. He has scored an incredible 19-percent of his team's goals. No one on the Caps is within 20 goals of the Caps' captain.

That's not a typo. Evgeny Kuznetsov ranks second on the team with 16 goals. No other team in the league has a larger separation between its top two scorers. In fact, only three teams have a difference that's in the double digits: Vancouver (11), San Jose (10) and New Jersey (10).

Ovechkin is almost singlehandedly propping up Washington as a top-ten offense. If you think about just where this offense would be without him, there's a pretty strong case to be made that Ovechkin is as valuable to his team this season as any other player in the league.

SEE THIS WEEK'S 2018 NHL AWARDS TRACKER HERE

Here are the Caps' hopefuls for awards this season:

John Carlson

In contention for: Norris

Carlson is fifth among all defensemen with 45 points, but his case goes beyond the numbers. With a blue line that has featured two rookies the majority of the season, an aging veteran in Brooks Orpik and that had to deal with an injury to Matt Niskanen, the Caps have asked a lot of Carlson this season and he has always been up to the task.

Alex Ovechkin

In contention for: Hart

Few players, if any, are as important to their team's offensive production and therefore its success than Ovechkin has been this season.

Check out who the top candidates are for the league's major individual awards in this week's 2018 NHL Awards Tracker!