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Capitals Defeat Flyers, 5-3

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
(Philadelphia, PA, November 4, 2006) – Alex Ovechkin and Ben Clymer each scored two goals in leading the Washington Capitals to a 5-3 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday night at the Wachovia Center.

The loss ended a 16-game undefeated streak by the Flyers against Washington in Philadelphia. It was the Capitals' first win at the Wachovia Center since January 31, 1998.

With the game tied 1-1 in the first period, the Capitals scored three more times before the end of the first 20 minutes to take a commanding lead.

Simon Gagne's breakaway goal at 12:33 momentarily knotted the score, but just 26 seconds after that score a fortunate bounce gave the Capitals the lead back. Brian Sutherby flubbed a shot at the side of the net sending the puck into the air, and Clymer got his stick on it to deflect it inside the post.

"We thought, when Simon got a goal, it would get us rolling, but unfortunately they came right back and scored," said R.J. Umberger.

A Shaone Morrisonn tip-in made the score 3-1 with just 1:26 left in the period, but Washington was not done when Chris Clark skated around Joni Pitkanen to spring a two-on-one rush. Clark fed Ovechkin for the second-year Russian's second goal of the game with 59 seconds remaining.

Despite the loss John Stevens was happy with his team's effort.

"For me, one of the first signs you want to see is when you get down, do you keep playing or do you just pack it in and go away? Tonight, clearly, we didn't do that and we poured it in to try to get back in the hockey game and for me that is a step in the right direction," said Stevens.

"I felt we actually came out decent tonight," added Derian Hatcher. "They got three goals, and obviously it's tough, and that's tough to come back from. It's tough to score goals in this league, and it's even tougher right now for us."

Ovechkin opened the scoring when a shot from the point by Brian Muir hit Gagne in the slot and deflected to the side of the net. Ovechkin tipped the puck between his legs to the front of the crease to himself and then tapped it past Robert Esche.

Esche was replaced by Antero Niittymaki to start the second period, and Niittymaki prevented further damage in the second helping to kill a lengthy five-on-three advantage for the Capitals midway through the game.

Clymer, however, got his second of the game just 29 seconds into the third period to make it a 5-1 game. A Geoff Sanderson tip-in of a slap shot from the high slot by Eric Meloche at 6:40 and Umberger's deflection of a shot by Mike Richards on the power play with 5:01 left capped the scoring.

Philadelphia outshot the Capitals for the game, 36-19, but Washington goaltender Brent Johnson made 33 saves to record the victory in net.

The game was the first of four meetings between the two teams this season, with the next game coming on December 9 at the Wachovia Center.

Philadelphia ended its season-long five-game homestand with a 2-3 record. The Flyers travel to Toronto on Monday night to play the Maple Leafs at the Air Canada Center (7:30 p.m., Comcast SportsNet, 610 WIP).

Philadelphia made several lineup changes prior to the game as Randy Robitaille and Jeff Carter were out due to injury. Mark Cullen, Martin Grenier, Eric Meloche and Alexandre Picard were all recalled from the Phantoms in time for the game. … The Flyers were 3-0-1 against Washington last season. … Donald Brashear, now with Washington, played in the game.
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