PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Alex Ovechkin, Dmitry Orlov and Nick Jensen scored to lead the Washington Capitals to a 3-1 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday night. T.J. Oshie had two assists and Ilya Samsonov stopped 36 shots for the Capitals, who have won eight of 11. Washington was without forward Tom Wilson, who served the first game of a seven-game suspension for Friday’s hit on Boston defenseman Brandon Carlo.
Joel Farabee scored for Philadelphia, which lost its second straight and finished 3-3 during a grueling nine-day, six-game stretch.READ MORE: CDC's New Mask Guidance In Schools Creates Tense Moments At Central Bucks Board Meeting
The Flyers welcomed back about 3,000 fans to their home arena for the first time since last March 10. Their early eager cheers turned into disappointing boos at the end.
Farabee got the home crowd excited with his team-leading 11th goal to give Philadelphia a 1-0 lead with just under nine minutes left in the first period.
But Washington scored twice in the final 4:49 of the second to take a one-goal advantage into the third. Ovechkin tied it with his eighth of the season, finishing a cross-ice pass from Oshie by going high over Carter Hart.
Orlov put the Capitals ahead with 15.8 ticks left in the period in a similar fashion. John Carlson’s pass across the ice found Orlov, whose shot went through Hart’s legs.
Jensen’s first of the season, a hard wrist shot over Hart’s right shoulder, 4:15 into the third gave the Capitals a two-goal advantage and brought on displeasure from the fans.
They had a lot to cheer about early, though.
Farabee opened the scoring when he took the shot himself on a 2-on-1 with James van Riemsdyk, beating Samsonov through the legs. He waved his hands toward the crowd, calling for more noise. And they obliged with loud cheers that sounded closer to a half-full building rather than one at about 15 percent capacity.
Flyers fans chanted “Let’s Go Flyers! Let’s Go Flyers!” early in the contest, something you could hear with just an artificial soundtrack up to this point this season. They loudly booed and directed catcalls at the officials after Travis Konecny was whistled for goaltender interference in the first period.
During a stoppage in the second period, they saluted Oskar Lindblom, who returned to the ice this season after battling cancer for much of last season, with a loud ovation
The boos returned with just under 13 minutes left in the third and Philadelphia trailing by a pair of goals, and the home crowd send the Flyers to the dressing room with boos at the conclusion of the contest.
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The Flyers spread out fans throughout the building, with yellow signs over chairs indicating where they could sit. Fans were required to wear face coverings unless they were actively eating or drinking.
Flyers coach Alain Vigneault was excited for their return.
“There’s no doubt having fans and feeling their emotion and their energy will be a boost for us,” Vigneault said prior to the game.
Van Riemsdyk welcomed them back to the arena with a pregame message posted on the video board.
It also was the first time this season that Washington played in front of an audience.
Wilson’s suspension was his fifth since 2017. He’s eligible to return on March 20 against the Rangers.
There was no penalty called on the play, and Washington coach Peter Laviolette questioned the suspension.
“I certainly think this will open things up to any hit that is forceful and impactful with a player that has the puck,” Laviolette said before the game. “Up until this point, everybody thought hitting somebody square up with the puck was a hit that was in the game.”
Capitals: Host New Jersey on Tuesday night.
Flyers: Host Buffalo on Tuesday night.MORE NEWS: Garden State Parkway Service Areas To Be Renamed After These 9 New Jersey Icons
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