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Trotz says Philly fans' behavior 'uncalled for'

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Trotz says Philly fans' behavior 'uncalled for'

Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov was recovering on the bench after being railroaded from behind by Flyers forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare with 7:43 remaining in the Caps’ eventual 6-1 win over the Flyers Monday night when he was hit in the face by a white rubber wristband thrown from the crowd.

A few feet away, Capitals coach Barry Trotz was seething.

One by one, the rubber light-up wristbands that were distributed to fans as part of a tribute to team founder Ed Snider were tossed onto the ice in frustration over the Flyers’ lopsided loss to their division rival.

Capitals left wing Jason Chimera said he’s seen a lot of things in hockey over the years, but …

“Yeah, I’ve never seen that before,” he said. “It’s unfortunate that a few fans ruin it for the thousands of people that came and love to watch hockey. And for the team, too. It cost them a goal. You never want to see that. The money (thrown from unruly crowds) hurts. The plastic wristbands don’t hurt so much.”

No, but Trotz said it gave the NHL a black eye.

“I felt bad for …  it was a tribute to Mr. Snider,” Trotz said Tuesday. “I’m proud of our game and it wasn’t on good display last night. That’s my biggest frustration. We were still playing hockey and I thought it was just a little bit uncalled for. And it got dangerous for not only our players but also for the Flyer players.

MORE HOCKEY: Holtby's injury described as a 'nick' and a 'tweak'

“Those bracelets are white and the ice is white. All you need is Claude Giroux to step on one and snap his leg in half, or one of our guys. To me, that was my biggest frustration.”

Fans began littering the ice with bracelets following Bellemare’s penalty, which resulted in a hearing with the NHL Department of Player Safety. And despite warnings from public address announcer Lou Nolan, it continued on each stoppage, resulting in the Flyers being assessed a bench minor for delay of game following a goal by Alex Ovechkin with 5:02 remaining.

 “You could tell by the in-house announcer, it was actually quite comical,” Trotz said. “And then they do it and it’s a penalty. But at the same time it is dangerous out there. Fans have to respect that players are going at high speeds out there and if you step on something it just sweeps your feet out and you go ankle first into the boards or snap your leg. That was my biggest frustration.”

Snider’s daughter, Sarena, voiced her displeasure with the unruly fans with a tweet that read: “My dad would've called the wristband throwers a "disgrace" & may have spoken publicly. But he wouldn't look back, only forward.”

Apparently, the Flyers had planned on passing out more of the wristbands for Game 4 on Wednesday night but are likely to change those plans. On Tuesday, cases of the wristbands remained sealed on the event level floor of the Wells Fargo Center on Tuesday.

Trotz said he is “not at all” concerned about his players’ safety for Game 4, where the Capitals hope to complete their first sweep in playoff history.

“I think the (Flyers) organization will have a clear message to everybody,” Trotz said.

The Flyers issued this statement on Tuesday:

“Flyers fans are the best in sports.  However, last night a number of individuals behaved in an unacceptable manner.

"Fans have the right to voice their displeasure vocally or by not watching or attending games, but when displeasure is expressed in a way that embarrasses or endangers others, it cannot be condoned or tolerated.  As an organization and on behalf of the overwhelming majority of Flyers’ fans who express their passion in a positive manner, we wish to express our sincere regret."

RELATED: Bellemare suspended one game for Orlov hit

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Capitals vs. Rangers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

Capitals vs. Rangers: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

The Capitals (2-2-1) were dealt a herky-jerky schedule for the first month of the NHL season, already having logged two back-to-backs and two extended breaks.  But Washington finally gets a semblance of normalcy when they host the New York Rangers (2-4) on Wednesday night in the first of two home games before heading out west to end the month.

The Caps enter the Wednesday Night Hockey tilt with their longtime regional foes having dropped a thrilling weekend showdown against the Toronto Maple Leafs and their high-powered attack. The Rangers have long been a thorn in the side of the Capitals and fans alike. But the team that will hit the ice at Capital One Arena on Oct. 17 will be one that Capitals need to dispatch of with ease.

The team's first foray into defending a championship has been a wild ride with ceremonies, openers, rematches and a lot of time off. After dropping the first three games of the season, New York has won two of its last three,  with both games needing extra time.

Here is everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Rangers which takes place at 7:00 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.

CAPITALS vs. RANGERs HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. New York Rangers, Game 6 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Wednesday, October 17 at 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals vs. Rangers will be broadcast on NBC Sports Network. (NBC Sports Washington Channel Finder)

Live Stream: Watch Capitals vs. Rangers on  the NBC Sports Washington live stream page and  the NBC Sports MyTeams App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS TV SCHEDULE

6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Capitals vs. Rangers on NBC Sports Network
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Braden Holtby, G. Capitals: Holtby has started four of the Capitals' first five games. He's allowed just two goals in the Capitals' two wins, but has given up 11 in the two losses. That being said, the Rangers do not have the caliber of fire-power possessed by the Penguins and Maple Leafs. Expect a big game from "The HoltBeast."

Mats Zuccarello, Rangers: The Rangers savvy veteran leads the team in assists (5) and points (50 through the first six games. While he's not the most dangerous threat on offense, he's the table setter and crafty elder statesman. 

CAPITALS vs. RANGERS SERIES HISTORY

Number of all-time Meetings: 273

All-Time Series Record: Capitals lead series 131–117–18–7

Regular Season Record: Capitals lead series 103–90–18–7

Playoff Record: Capitals lead series 28-27

Last Meeting: Capitals beat Rangers 3-2 OT (3/28/2018)

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4 things to watch as the Caps host the Rangers

4 things to watch as the Caps host the Rangers

The Caps return to action Wednesday as they host the New York Rangers (7 p.m., NBCSN) in a Metropolitan Division clash.

Here are four things you should be watching for in this game.

The schedule finally gives the Caps a break

The early season schedule for Washington has been bizarre to say the least. Finally, they will be catching a break on Wednesday as the Rangers will be playing in the second leg of a back-to-back.

That certainly does not guarantee a victory, but it is something the Caps are very aware of and they hope to take advantage.

“I think speed is a big part of the game and for them to be fatigued off the back-to-back is definitely going to help us whether we move the puck a little quicker than we would in other games just kind of knowing they are coming off that back-to-back,” Nathan Walker said.

“We've got to make them skate, we've got to make their D go back for pucks,” T.J. Oshie said. “I don't feel like they're going to look tired at the start of the game, usually that comes towards the end of the game, second half, and so you've got to work to drain them down a little bit and we've got to take advantage of that opportunity tonight.”

Top-line Stephenson

Stephenson was added to the top line on Saturday with no practice other than the morning skate that day. A few days between games has given him a chance to practice with Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov and it should pay dividends on Wednesday.

This game also should be a good opportunity for Stephenson who was added to the top for his speed. Playing a tired Rangers team is something he will need to take advantage of.

“It's always tough to play back-to-back and with the travel and stuff like that,” Stephenson said. “For the most part, I think that that's going to be important and just to play a full 60, that's something that we want to get consistent with and we haven't been so far … But for the most part, I think the start will really help us tonight.”

Nathan Walker returns

The Caps made a change to the lineup for Wednesday’s game as Nathan Walker will be in for Dmitrij Jaskin on the fourth line.

When asked why he made the change, Reirden said, “Just a different look. A team that's on a back-to-back, we wanted to really come at them with some speed, tenacity and intensity that we know we always get from Nathan so thought it was a good add into tonight's lineup.

The Caps have got to get more offense from their bottom six and adding the speedy Walker to the bottom six could provide a boost. He has had trouble playing within the system in the past and his play has been more frenzied than controlled at times, but with Tom Wilson still suspended, there’s definitely an opportunity for Walker to earn more playing time depending on how he plays Wednesday.

King Henry remains on his throne

In addition to a tired Rangers team, the Caps are also expected to face a tired goalie.

Henrik Lundqvist started New York’s game on Tuesday and is expected to start again on Wednesday against Washington. That is not confirmed as the Rangers did not have a morning skate because of the back-to-back, but it is believed Lundqvist will play again.

There was a time when Lundqvist was considered the best netminder in the NHL and he is off to a phenomenal start this season with a 1.99 GAA and .939 save percentage in five games thus far.

But how will the 36-year-old goalie handle a back-to-back?

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