The Capitals put up nine goals against the Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday in a 9-2 thrashing in Washington's biggest offensive performance of the season and the biggest at home since March 3, 2008.
Here are some observations from the game.
Escaping the trap
After three straight big wins over playoffs teams and with a five-game road trip looming, Tuesday's game against the 23-38-11 Flyers looked like an obvious trap game. But rather than a bad team surprising a good one, this one actually looked as one-sided on the ice as it did no paper.
Washington scored three times in the first period and added another two in the second to ensure the outcome was no longer in doubt. Another four goals in the third period gave the team nine.
Ovechkin climbs closer to 50
Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring just 6:01 into the game. His initial shot was turned aside by goalie Carter Hart, but he followed it up, grabbed his own rebound, then banked the puck in off the Flyers netminder for the goal.
The goal is No. 776 for his career and No. 46 for the season, bringing Ovechkin to within four of 50. If he gets there, he will be tied with Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy for the most 50-goal seasons in NHL history with nine. Ovechkin is also just two goals away from tying Teemu Selanne's record for the most goals in a single season by a player 36 or older.
With six different goal scorers on seven goals, there were lots of points to go around Tuesday as several players extended their current hot streaks.
Tom Wilson and John Carlson have been two of the team's top players of late. Wilson recorded an assist and now has a three-game point streak of four points (2 goals, 2 assists). Carlson also had an assist giving him nine points in four games.
After seeing some time at fourth-line wing in previous games, Lars Eller is trying to cement himself as a center. He collected two goals and now has four points (3 goals, 1 assist), in his past two games.
Evgeny Kuznetsov has been quietly hot with a four-game point streak which he extended to five games with two assists. He now has (one goal, six assists).
There were a number of ugly moments in this decidedly one-sided affair. Perhaps the most embarrassing moment for the Flyers came as Conor Sheary made it 5-1.
Notice where all five Flyers players are despite defending their own zone. Yeah, that's not how you draw up the defense.
Philadelphia is a bad team, but there were other factors that contributed to the tough night. Hart looked uncomfortable through the first period and was replaced by Martin Jones in net to start the second. Cam Atkinson was injured in the first period and did not return for the second. A young lineup was then toyed with by the Caps' veteran team. Martin Fehervary deked Ronnie Attard (five career games played) out of his skates. Bobby Brink was also making his NHL debut.
A pair of firsts
A lower-body injury kept Dmitry Orlov out of the game and brought Matt Irwin in for his first game since March 25. Irwin took advantage with a two-point night including his first goal of the season. In addition, Johan Larsson scored his first goal as a Capital late in the third.