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Flyers game against Capitals is a Wash

ALEX OVECHKIN read the press clippings. The headlines that said last year's "average season" - in which he posted 85 points - was already carrying over to this year. The articles that pointed to his decreased ice time - down nearly 3 minutes from his career average - and claimed he doesn't hold Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau's trust.

ALEX OVECHKIN read the press clippings.

The headlines that said last year's "average season" - in which he posted 85 points - was already carrying over to this year. The articles that pointed to his decreased ice time - down nearly 3 minutes from his career average - and claimed he doesn't hold Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau's trust.

The stories that said Ovechkin has lost his mojo.

He laughed them off. And his smile, sliding into the boards at the Wells Fargo Center and rattling taunting Flyers fans, was never bigger than when he scored with 11 seconds left in the first period last night.

Ovechkin loves Philadelphia.

And he single-handedly turned what was supposed to be another October test between two of the NHL's three remaining teams without a regulation loss into a laughingstock. Ovechkin sent fans to an early exit into the October night with a 5-2 drubbing of the Flyers, thanks to a three-goal Washington explosion in the first 5 minutes of the third period.

With two tallies, Ovechkin now has 22 goals and 15 assists in 23 career regular-season matchups against the Flyers - the most of any Atlantic Division opponent.

"It's always nice to score goals," Ovechkin said. "We knew it was going to be a real battle. I had a couple chances in the last few games but I didn't score and it finally goes in."

The Flyers finished with a 42-28 shot advantage, a slight indication as to how the first two periods played out, when they were down just 2-1. It was the first time they had more than 40 shots in a game this season.

Washington scored three times in a span of 2 minutes and 25 seconds to suck the life out of the building.

"We were pretty sure we would win the game," goalie Ilya Bryzgalov said. "All of a sudden, you're not there anymore. It was 2-1 and then 5-1, it's pretty much [over]."

Two of Washington's goals came off deflections from the Flyers' own sticks. Michael Perrault bounced the first Caps goal off the stick of Braydon Coburn. Then, Andreas Lilja was victimized by Roman Hamrlik to start the third period.

Ovechkin muscled his second goal through at least four bodies and sticks to find the top of the twine over Bryzgalov's shoulder.

The hungry Flyers blocked 23 shots. But Bryzgalov told his defensemen in training camp to try and stay out of the way of shots - to let him see them cleanly - in order to get a clear picture of the puck's path.

A lot of times, that's easier said than done.

"They try and do their best; they're trying to help me," Bryzgalov said. "It was just one of those nights, it would hit our player, their players, go right in the net. It would hit the stick and go in the opposite direction. It's just the nature of the game sometimes. You've got to accept it."

In fact, the Flyers actually saw some value in the Caps' tactic.

"That is part of our game plan, too," said Scott Hartnell, who had a tough night as a minus-3. "I think we are definitely working on that [today in practice]. It seemed like a lot of the shots were coming in and [Caps goalie Tomas] Vokoun was seeing them."

Though just one of the Capitals' five goals came on the power play, the Flyers were never able to attack Washington's zone with any consistency. Their lines and ice time were chopped up after trying to kill off six different shorthanded opportunities.

Peter Laviolette has been barking about his team's careless infractions. Last night, it finally caught up to them in a big way.

"Turnovers and penalties killed us. They ruin the flow of the game, they ruin the bench," captain Chris Pronger said. "At some point, it was going to come back and get us. Until we figure it out, we'll have back-and-forth nights like this."

Timonen hurt

Defenseman Kimmo Timonen slid to block a Mike Green howitzer in the second period, which forced him to hobble over to the Flyers bench grabbing his right arm. He played his next shift but left the game with 10:59 left and Washington firmly in front.

Timonen said the slap shot caught him in the right hand. He would not confirm whether he had an X-ray after the game.

"It's sore, I'll tell you that," he said. "I don't think it's anything serious . . . but it's part of the game. It happens. We'll see whether I'm ready to go on Saturday."

Slap shots

Sean Couturier played just 10:09, the lowest total ice time of his six-game NHL career by nearly 4 minutes, but still scored his second goal in as many games . . . Defenseman Andreas Lilja was swapped into the lineup for Matt Walker. The two had traded places for Tuesday's game and Lilja was the healthy scratch . . . The Flyers have outshot their opponent in five of six games this season. They were just 5-5-1 last year when posting 40 shots in a game.

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