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.
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.
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.