PHILADELPHIA (AP) -Washington Capitals defenseman Bryan Muir makes the few goals he scores really count.
Muir netted the go-ahead tally at 7:40 of the third period to help lift the Capitals to a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night. It was only his second goal of the season.
"It was just a great play by Kris Beech," Muir said. "He came from behind the net. The goalie actually went far over thinking he was going to shoot it and he ended up passing it to me nice and hard in the slot. It was one of those seeing-eye pucks."
Muir's one-timer from between the circles helped the Capitals bounce back after having their four-game winning streak snapped by Anaheim on Friday.
"Last night was a blip on the radar screen," Muir said. "But I think we have been playing good hockey. Tonight we had to get back to what we were doing to win. We did that."
Simon Gagne had a pair of goals and an assist, and Mike Knuble had one of each for the Flyers, who have lost three straight.
"Yeah, we battled back which showed a bit of character but in the end it is still a loss for us," Gagne said. "We played well for forty minutes but at the end it was not good enough."
Washington's Brent Johnson made 33 saves and received his best offensive support of the season in improving to 3-3. The Capitals had scored only 13 goals in Johnson's previous seven starts.
"Brent has played well," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "His stats are misleading because he starts on the road a lot. I'm extremely happy with his play."
Philadelphia's Antero Niittymaki, who stopped 27 shots, said the Flyers had a chance to win in the third period.
"There are a few goals I would like to have had back," Niittymaki explained. "There were a few bounces. That is the way it was."
Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead at 6:28 of the first period with a brilliant move. He picked up the puck on the back line, spun around and snapped a wrist shot into the far side of the net.
Laich made it 2-0 at 6:28 of the period, scoring on a short-handed breakaway.
Gagne scored consecutive goals in the second period to get the Flyers even. He converted a rebound on a power play at 2:54, then scored on a slap shot from the right circle at 7:47.
Washington regained the lead 13 seconds later when Clark flipped in a rebound of a shot from the point by Shaone Morrisonn. The Flyers tied it at 3 when Knuble scored on a scramble in front of the net at 10:57 of the second period.
Philadelphia lost Geoff Sanderson and Mike Richards with abdominal strains early in the second period.
Notes: Flyers captain Peter Forsberg was scratched (right foot, ankle) and is expected to miss at least four more games. ... Other Flyer scratches were RW Sami Kapanen (lower body) and D Joni Pitkanen (abdominal strain). ... Washington RW Matt Bradley was scratched after injuring a hand during a fight against Anaheim. ... The Capitals have won two straight games against the Flyers after going 0-15-1 in their previous 16 games. ... Philadelphia had not lost two home games to Washington since the 1993-94 season.
|Alex Ovechkin (18) ASST: Chris Clark (12), Dainius Zubrus (11)|
1 - 0 WSH
|SHG - Brooks Laich (2) ASST: NONE|
2 - 0 WSH
|PPG - Simon Gagne (15) ASST: Alexandre Picard (3), Mike Knuble (9)|
2 - 1 WSH
|Simon Gagne (16) ASST: Jussi Timonen (3), Alexandre Picard (4)|
2 - 2 Tie
|Chris Clark (10) ASST: Shaone Morrisonn (5), Alex Ovechkin (16)|
3 - 2 WSH
|PPG - Mike Knuble (11) ASST: Randy Robitaille (12), Simon Gagne (9)|
3 - 3 Tie
|Bryan Muir (2) ASST: Kris Beech (9), Alex Ovechkin (17)|
4 - 3 WSH
|PPG - Matt Pettinger (10) ASST: Alexander Semin (12), Brian Pothier (15)|
5 - 3 WSH
|Ben Eager Hooking against Jakub Klepis|
|Kyle Calder Tripping against Chris Clark|
|Chris Clark Hooking against Kyle Calder|
|Donald Brashear Hi-sticking against Mike Richards|
|Ryan Potulny Hooking against Brian Sutherby|
|Matt Pettinger Tripping against Todd Fedoruk|
|Steve Eminger Interference against Todd Fedoruk|
|Alex Ovechkin Interference against Lars Jonsson|
|Simon Gagne Hooking against Matt Pettinger|
|Kyle Calder Tripping against Brian Pothier|
|Boyd Gordon Tripping against Ben Eager|
|Jakub Klepis Interference against Kyle Calder|
|Mike Knuble Tripping against Matt Pettinger|
|Alexander Semin Hi-sticking against Derian Hatcher|
|Dainius Zubrus Holding against Lars Jonsson|
|Lars Jonsson Delaying Game-Puck over glass|