F Street Faithful
by Matthew Tate on 11/01/13 at 09:00 PM ET
The Washington Capitals turned in one of their best performances of the season tonight en route to a 7-0 victory over the Philadelphia Flyers. What started sloppy, became high scoring, and eventually became a circus. It was the first shutout of the season for the Caps as well as their largest offensive outburst. On to the reCap.
Washington Goals: Backstrom 3 (Erat, Schmidt); Ward 4 (Chimera, Grabovski); Chimera 5 (Grabovski); Backstrom 4 (Fehr Erat); Ward 5 (Grabovski, Chimera); Brouwer 4 PP (Green, Backstrom); Joel Ward 6 (Chimera, Fehr)
Braden Holtby: WIN; 30 Saves; 0 Goals Allowed
Steve Mason: LOSS 14 Saves; 3 Goals Allowed Ray Emery: ND 11 Saves; 4 Goals Allowed
With Alexander Ovechkin nursing an upper body injury, tonight marked the first time in nine years that the Capitals did not have a Russian in the line-up.
Talk about a promotion as Eric Fehr went from fourth line center to Ovechkin's spot on the top line. He filled in admirably, picking up two assists in around 20 minutes.
For the first 15 minutes of the game, it looked like the Caps were lost without Ovechkin as they failed to get a shot on Steve Mason until 15:05 into the game. They would pick up the pace, adding three more and a goal before the end of the first. They would continue that pace in the second, outshooting Philadelphia 15-9, scoring five goals in the process.
Jason Chimera extended his goal-scoring streak to a career-best four games. His stock just keeps rising.
Joel Ward, long judged by his expensive contract, will remember this night for a long time, as he got his first career hat trick.
The third line of Chimera, Grabovski, Ward have recorded six goals and six assists in the nine games since they have been assembled. That is the kind of scoring depth you need in order to be successful.
Zac Rinaldo was given a 10-minute misconduct in the second period for what the referee determined "inciting." No additional penalties were called, so a power play was not awarded. Not sure I've seen anything quite like that before.
This game really became a joke in the third period when a line brawl, complete with a goalie fight, broke out. It started with a late hit by Wayne Simmonds that resulted in a fight between him and Tom Wilson. For some reason, Ray Emery decided to charge down to challenge Holtby, and promptly unloaded on Holtby before he could even get his gloves off. Emery was ejected and given 24 penalty minutes for his actions. The league will be giving him a call. EDIT: THE PHILADELPHIA MEDIA GAVE RAY EMERY THIRD STAR. WHAT?! Brayden Schenn was also given the boot for sucker punching Alexander Urbom.
The Caps' streak of successful penalty kills continued tonight, running the streak to 27 consecutive kills.
On the other side, they were able to score a power play goal after not collecting one for the previous three games.
The Capitals are right back at it tomorrow when the Florida Panthers come to DC. Still no word on whether Ovechkin will play in that one.
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About F Street Faithful
Welcome to the home of the F Street Faithful, run by Matthew Tate. This is a go-to blog for all things related to the Washington Capitals. The F Street Faithful is 5% news and 95% breaking down the news.
In the past I have written for several other sports blogs as well as the college newspaper while at York College of Pennsylvania. I am a graduate of York College of Pennsylvania but am based out of Southern Maryland.
You can follow me on twitter @FStreetTate but I must warn that I do tweet about more than hockey. You can also e-mail me at any time at firstname.lastname@example.org.