WASHINGTON (AP) _ The undermanned Washington Capitals found a way to beat
the first-place Philadelphia Flyers, who came out flat after a busy night of
Olaf Kolzig, one of the few remaining veterans after the Capitals fire sale,
made 24 saves, and power-play goals by Jeff Halpern and Anson Carter lifted the
Capitals to a 2-1 victory Saturday night.
``We have lost a lot of talent but replaced it with heart and desire,''
Kolzig said. ``Sometimes that can take you farther.''
Michal Handzus scored the only goal _ a short-handed tally in the final
minute _ for the Flyers, who lost momentum after beating Ottawa on Friday.
``This one stinks a little bit,'' Flyers goaltender Sean Burke said.
``Coming out of here with nothing is a little bit tough to take, and we have to
find a way to respond to it.''
The Flyers behaved better after combining with Ottawa to set an NHL record
with a combined 419 penalty minutes. There were a few scuffles early, and the
only real fight occurred in the game's final minute.
Philadelphia paid for the few penalties it did commit. With Donald Brashear
off for roughing, Washington took advantage.
Kip Miller found Halpern alone in front of the Philadelphia goal. Halpern
deftly pushed he puck past an out-of-position Burke, who expected Miller to
Washington scored its second power-play goal at 10:12 of the second period
when Anson Carter scored.
While sprawled on the ice, Halpern deflected the puck across to Miller, who
shifted the puck over to Carter for his 15th goal.
``I think we felt good,'' Halpern said of the power-play effort. ``Once you
are able to get in the zone and set up, you always get that touch on the puck.
I think Darcy (Verot) drawing penalties the way he was, was the biggest reason
we were on the power play. I thought the way our team played put us out there
and we were able to capitalize.''
The Capitals were not only missing their recently traded veterans, but also
Dainius Zubrus and Jason Doig, who were out with injuries.
``Somebody needs to give Washington a little bit of credit here,''
Philadelphia coach Ken Hitchcock said. ``They've changed skill people that they
couldn't win with, and they brought in good workers, and all you need to do
with good workers is have a successful power play and you can win a lot of
The officials made a point early that this was not going to be a repeat of
Friday night's penalty-filled game. During one skirmish, a linesman rushed
across the ice and tackled Brashear to keep him from entering a scramble at
12:18 of the first period.
``You sense that (Friday night) was a big game for us, and very, very
emotionally high. So coming into today's game, we knew we were going to have to
find a way to elevate that again,'' Burke said. ``We needed to be a little bit
sharper at the beginning.''
The game marked the second sellout of the season for Washington, thanks in
large part to a strong contingent of Flyers fans.