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Capitals want to produce at even strength

Washington doesn't want to rely on power play against Philadelphia in Game 2

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

ARLINGTON, Va. -- Although the Washington Capitals benefited from having six power-play opportunities in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round, they want more chances at even strength.

Washington leads the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 in the best-of-7 series; Game 2 is at Verizon Center on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; CNBC, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-PH, CSN-DC).

John Carlson scored 18 seconds into Washington's third power play of the game after Flyers defenseman Brandon Manning was called for a delay of game penalty in the second period. Jay Beagle scored at even-strength with 4:53 remaining in the third period. Washington won 2-0.

The Capitals power play was ranked fifth in the NHL during the regular season but they don't want to rely on it for offense during the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Washington has one of the most dangerous combinations of forwards in the NHL, including 50-goal scorer Alex Ovechkin, and wants to use that depth and skill to its advantage.

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm1: Carlson sneaks puck past Mason for lead

"I think we've got four great lines, the four best lines in the League that you have to match up against," forward Justin Williams said. "You don't want to give any teams power plays. Every team's power play is good, and they can have a big impact on the game regardless of how good our special teams have been this year, and they've been good. You want to keep it 5-on-5."

One way the Capitals plan to do that in Game 2 is to take fewer penalties. Washington had six power plays in Game 1; Philadelphia had four.

In the first period, Carlson and defense partner Brooks Orpik combined for three consecutive penalties, something that can't happen again, coach Barry Trotz said.

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm1: Beagle finishes setup from Johansson

"We have to be more disciplined than we were, even though we had more power plays," Trotz said. "We know that we can even be more disciplined. That's not going to throw us off our game. We recognize we have a good power play. I thought [Thursday] it was a physical game on both sides. It didn't affect us at all. The way we're built, we can play a speed game, a skill game or a physical game."

Although Game 1 was a special-teams battle, the Capitals hope Game 2 is decided at even strength, on both ends of the ice.

"You don't want to get into a rhythm on the penalty kill," Williams said. "That means you're taking too many penalties. I hope it'll die down and we'll be a little bit more disciplined. That's for sure. Anything more than two, three penalties is way too much, especially in a playoff game."

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