WASHINGTON, D.C. (CBS) — The red waves kept coming, and coming, and coming. At times, you might have been forced to blink, thinking the Washington Capitals were playing with eight players on the ice, instead of five, in their opening NHL playoff game against the Flyers Thursday night, at the Verizon Center.
The Flyers, inspired by the passing on Monday of their beloved owner, Ed Snider, couldn’t deal with the reality of the bigger, stronger, faster Caps. Washington, the NHL’s best regular-season team, kept pressuring the Flyers in a 2-0 victory, in game that was far more lopsided than the score indicated.
About the only positive offense were Wayne Simmonds’ right hands into Cap winger Tom Wilson’s face during a third-period fight. Otherwise, the Flyers couldn’t generate much of anything. They were outshot 22-15 after two periods (14-4 in the second period alone) and 31-19 for the game. Over the last two periods, the Caps outshot the Flyers 23-8.
The Caps’ John Carlson scored on a powerplay goal in the second period, and Jay Beagle added an insurance goal with 3:24 left to play. The Beagle goal came when Marcus Johansson stripped Jakub Voracek at center ice and fed the wide-open Beagle in the slot. Beagle had only scored 8 goals during the regular season, but the miscue by the Flyers made him look like Alex Ovechkin-light.
The Flyers were 0-for-4 on the powerplay, and the Caps were 1-for-6.
It was the first time the Flyers were shutout in the playoffs since a 1-0 loss to Buffalo on April 20, 2011.
It wasn’t goalie Steve Mason’s fault. He came up with 29 saves, some spectacular. But with little help on offense, he could do little.
Brayden Schenn and Ryan White found some fight—after the game when the pair of Flyers got into it with a group of Caps after the game.
Flyers’ Sean Couturier left the game in the second period with a sprained left shoulder injury. His return is questionable for the rest of the best-of-seven series.