Get Out the Brooms? Caps Look to Leave Philly Round One in Hand

When game three began, the Philadelphia Flyers honored founder Ed Snider with a moving tribute that included putting light-up wristbands in everyone’s seat. What transpired through the next 60 minutes of hockey embarrassed a legacy, a family and its fan base.

The Caps started the game down 1-0 in the first minute but pummeled the Flyers with the power play the rest of the game to rout them 6-1. The third period got ugly with two Flyers players getting ejected and the fans reverting to throwing items on the ice, including the wristbands that honored Snider. This was assessed as a delay of game penalty against the Flyers which led to yet another goal for the Caps.

So what does this mean? It means the Capitals have a chance for their first playoff s**** in franchise history in a seven game series. To this point in their 42 year history, they have never won three straight games to take a commanding 3-0 lead in 26 playoff appearances. Washington is  0-7 in Game 3 of best-of-seven playoff series when leading 2-0.

Total Embarrassment

The Flyers came unglued in the third period after the Caps took a 3-1 lead on Kuznetsov’s first goal of the playoffs. After that, forward  Pierre-Edouard Bellemare went in for an illegal hit on Dimity Orlov who had his head down toward the boards. He was ejected for the hit along with Ryan White for instigating a fight afterwards. The Caps got a 5-minute major power play and reaped the benefits with goals by Carlson, Ovechkin and Beagle.

  • Steve Mason had 21 saves but gave up 6 goals. In the three playoff games, Mason has allowed 12 goals (4.09 GAA, .852 save percentage) to Holtby’s two. With a 3-0 hole, the Flyers may call on former Cap goaltender Michel Neuvirth to salvage at least one game.
  • RW Wayne Simmonds, the Flyers leading scorer, put his arms up and yelled at the crowd to stop throwing items on the ice.
  • The NHL’s Department of Player Safety assessed a one-game suspension against  Pierre-Edouard Bellemare Tuesday for an illegal check from behind. With the Flyers down 0-3 in the series, this couldn’t have happened at a worst time for the Flyers..

Total Domination

The Capitals are in unfamiliar territory: they can sweep a series. After the epic collapse in the third by the Flyers, the Caps kept their composure and dominated the game. This is where they finish them off and move on to the semi-finals.

  • The Caps owned the Power Play in game three with a 5 for 9 performance. To date in the playoffs, they have gone 8 for 17 (and a perfect 13 for 13 in penalty kills.
  • Alex Ovechkin and John Carlson both lead the team with three playoff goals. Niklas Backstrom leads the team with five assists.
  • Braden Holtby has a ridiculous GAA in three games (.67) to go with a massive save percentage (.978). He quietly saved 31 shots in game three.
  • With a chance to wrap this series up, a week-long layoff may be the result as the Pens and Rangers may need all seven games. Game 7 would be April 27, a full week after the Caps Game 4 with the Flyers. This means the next series could start Friday, April 29 or Saturday, April 30.

Your starting goaltenders for game four…Braden Holtby for the Capitals and Michel Neuvirth for the Flyers.

The Caps will be ready for Game 4. You’re going to see a desperate team in the Flyers but as long as the Caps continue to play their game, they should be able to wrap this series up.

 ROCK THE RED! GO CAPS!

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