PHILADELPHIA -- The Capitals made an emphatic statement with their 6-1 win over the Flyers Monday night.
To their fans. To their coach. And most importantly, to themselves.
“This group of guys has been together all year,” Caps captain Alex Ovechkin said after scoring a pair of goals to help give the Caps their first-ever 3-0 lead in a playoff series. “We know each other, we respect each other, we trust each other. If somebody makes a mistake we try to carry them.
“It’s huge, but it’s not over yet. We have to forget about it and move forward. The next one is a big one and it’s a huge opportunity for us to come back home and see who’s gonna be next.”
Capitals coach Barry Trotz seemed perturbed by the Flyers’ tactics in the third period when they committed eight penalties, including a five-minute major to Pierre-Eduoard Bellemare for checking Dmitry Orlov from behind.
Orlov stayed in the game and said he was fine afterward.
The Capitals made the Flyers pay on the scoreboard, where they went an incredible 5-for-9 on the power play. The Caps are now 8-for-17 on the man-advantage in the series, while the Flyers are 0-for-13.
“We pulled away and they weren’t interested in playing anymore,” Trotz said. “It wasn’t good for the game, plain and simple. I don’t think it displays our game very well.”
Trotz said the Caps have been strong on the power play because the Flyers keep letting them practice it.
He also quipped, “We took their best punch.”
Not so, according to Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds, who expects the Flyers to come out flying on Wednesday.
“I want to see the hunger level,” Simmonds said. “We’ve got to play a lot hungrier and play a lot more desperate. We’re hanging onto our lives here. We’ll never give up in this dressing room. It’ll never be over. We’ll keep fighting until the end. We know we’ve got to come out and be extremely hungry next game. We’ve got to bring it.”
Capitals defenseman John Carlson was asked after the game what being up 3-0 in the series means to him.
"Nothing," Carlson said, "unless we win."