Alex Ovechkin earned his night away from hockey.
Ovechkin will miss the Washington Capitals' final preseason game on Saturday in order to take part in the start of the Olympic torch relay in Greece. The first Russian to carry the torch flew off on a high note by scoring twice as the Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-3 Friday night at Verizon Center.
The Capitals blew a 3-0 lead as the Flyers got goals by Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds in a span of less than five minutes late in the second period. But Eric Fehr's second goal of the night and fourth in the past two games broke the tie 1:35 into the third period. Ovechkin added a power-play goal less than three minutes later, and Mathieu Perreault hit the empty net.
"Going to Greece boys!!! Can't wait!!! See u soon!" Ovechkin said on his Twitter account afterward.
The game featured five fights as well as a five-minute major and game misconduct to Philadelphia's Zach Rinaldo for elbowing Mikhail Grabovski.
Washington finishes its preseason schedule Saturday night in Chicago without Ovechkin, but he'll be in the lineup Tuesday when the Capitals are back at the United Center for their season opener against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
"They weren't missing too many guys, but they played last night so maybe they were a little tired," Capitals coach Adam Oates said when asked if the win was a barometer of his team's readiness. "We had a lot of guys play well. We're just continuing the process of trying to get ready for Tuesday.
"All in all, the guys know what they have to do and we're going in the right direction."
The Flyers open their season on the road against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday night after winning only one preseason game in seven tries.
"We didn't play bad," captain Claude Giroux said. "When we were playing the way we wanted to, we were great. We're a dangerous team and we need to believe that -- the sooner the better."
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