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NHL Game Summary - Washington at Philadelphia



(Friday, February 10th)

Final Score: Philadelphia 5, Washington 4

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Brian Savage scored two goals and Robert Esche made 39 saves as Philadelphia continued its dominance of Washington at home with a 5-4 win at the Wachovia Center.

Simon Gagne, Donald Brashear and Sami Kapanen also lit the lamp for the Flyers, who have won two straight since their three-game skid.

Rookie Alexander Ovechkin and fellow forward Dainius Zubrus each had a goal and an assist while Brent Johnson stopped 24 shots for Washington, which has dropped three in a row and seven of nine. The Capitals are 0-15-1 (1 tie) in their last 16 trips to Philadelphia, dating back to January 31, 1998.

Philadelphia scored four straight goals in the second period to erase a one- goal deficit and assume a 5-2 lead.

Brashear's nice individual effort tied it at 2-2 for the Flyers 1:43 into the middle frame, as the left winger swept into the zone along the right side, fought off a defender as he moved in on goal and then feathered the puck into the near side of the cage.

Kapanen put Philadelphia ahead with a slapshot from the point that made it through traffic in front at the 5:03 mark.

Savage then netted back-to-back goals -- both of which came on the power play -- to put his team up by three.

"I think our power play played really well, especially in the second period when we needed some big goals," said Savage.

Ovechkin made it 5-3 after two periods on a one-timer from the left circle with just under five minutes remaining, and Zubrus' power-play wrister along the right side with under eight minutes to play in the third made it a one- goal game.

Washington had a very good chance to tie it in the final minute, but Esche sprawled out and twice stopped Matt Pettinger from point-blank range to preserve the win for the Flyers.

"He was our best player. In my opinion, he was the reason we got those two points," said Hitchcock of Esche. "It was a good feeling for us watching the way he played."

Philadelphia opened up the scoring 5:03 into the contest, as Gagne took a short pass from Mike Knuble and blasted a shot from the top of the right circle that sailed past Johnson.

Washington quickly responded with two goals of its own, however, to assume a 2-1 advantage.

Brian Sutherby pulled the Capitals even at the 9:36 mark of the first on a one-timer from the bottom of the right circle that hit off Esche's leg pad and in.

Just over a minute later Philadelphia coughed up the puck in its own zone, and the Capitals took advantage to go on top. Brooks Laich pounced on the loose disc and moved it into the right circle for Brian Willsie, who released a precision wrister that flew in between Esche's shoulder and the left crossbar.

Game Notes

Gagne's 36 goals are the most for a Flyer since John LeClair scored 40 during the 1999-2000 season...Philly was without center Peter Forsberg for the seventh straight game due to a groin injury...Ovechkin has either scored or assisted on 32 of Washington's 45 power-play tallies this season... Philadelphia, which is 16-8-6 on home ice, will visit Ottawa on Saturday before breaking for the Olympics...Washington will host Pittsburgh on Saturday to lead into the Olympic break.

02/11 01:28:02 ET


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