Skip to Main Content

Flyers 3, Capitals 1 @NHLdotcom

WASHINGTON (AP) - Peter Forsberg isn't sure what's more impressive: the way the Philadelphia Flyers are piling up points on the road, or the rate at which Simon Gagne is scoring goals.

Gagne and Forsberg each had a goal and an assist, and the Flyers stretched their road-point streak to 14 games with a 3-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Friday night.

``We find a way to win every single game almost,'' Forsberg said. ``It's the sign of a great team. ... Good teams find a way to win on the road and win close games.''

Mike Rathje also scored for the Flyers, who improved to 7-0-1 on their 11-game road trip. Their only loss in that stretch was a shootout defeat last Saturday in Washington.

Philadelphia, which beat the New York Rangers on Thursday, has won three straight and eight of 10. With points in their next two road games, the Flyers would tie the team mark set in 1979-80.

This win didn't come easily, however. The Flyers gave Washington eight power plays, and each team failed on a pair of extended two-man advantages.

``You don't want to play pretty on the road; you just get the job done,'' Rathje said.

Alexander Ovechkin scored for Washington, which has dropped three straight and four of five.

Goaltender Olaf Kolzig said the Capitals' postgame team meeting was an opportunity to clear the air and re-establish some objectives.

``Good efforts aren't enough anymore,'' Kolzig said. ``We've got to start finding a way to win these games. ... At some point, we've got to put a little bit of pressure on ourselves.''

Gagne's 29th goal broke a 2-all tie with 27 seconds left in the second period after the Flyers failed on a two-man advantage that lasted 1:13. With Jamie Heward off for elbowing, Mike Knuble's deflection trickled behind Kolzig. Gagne, who was unguarded, had an easy tap-in at the left post but it wasn't enough for him to keep his NHL goal lead.

``It's fun what's going on right now,'' Gagne said. ``The puck keeps going in.''

Atlanta's Ilya Kovalchuk reached 30 goals by netting three Friday night in the Thrashers' 6-4 victory over Pittsburgh.

Maybe the fact that Forsberg is centering Gagne's line has something to do with the Philadelphia forward's production.

``I'm surprised he hasn't scored more goals before,'' Forsberg said of his left winger. ``He knows what to do, and hopefully I can find him for a few more.''

Ovechkin gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead 8:55 in with a power-play goal, stretching Washington's man-advantage scoring streak to eight games. Ovechkin played give-and-go with Bryan Muir, one-timing Muir's cross-ice pass by Antero Niittymaki from the left point for his team-leading 25th goal.

Washington wasted a 57-second, two-man advantage early in the second period and allowed Rathje to tie it with a short-handed goal 1:52 into the period. Gagne sprung a breakout, and Rathje kept the puck on a 2-on-2 break, snapping a shot from the right circle through Kolzig's legs.

Late in regulation, Forsberg scored an empty-net goal to snap the Flyers' run of nine consecutive one-goal decisions.

Notes: Rathje hadn't scored since Oct. 28, a span of 31 games. ... The Flyers recalled D Randy Jones from the Philadelphia Phantoms of the AHL. ... Washington C Jeff Halpern sat out his second straight game with a groin injury. ... Ovechkin reached 25 goals faster than any other Capitals rookie, hitting the plateau in his 39th game. Chris Valentine needed 56 games in the 1981-82 season.

View More