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Philadelphia at Washington

Spectacular Biron stones Capitals as Flyers even series

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Looking tired and frustrated, Alex Ovechkin had trouble simply getting his puck on the stick a couple of times as the game wore on. The Philadelphia Flyers had stymied him again, this time with no allowances for any late-game heroics.

The Flyers shut down the favorite for league MVP, R.J. Umberger and Jeff Carter scored first-period goals, and Martin Biron got his third shutout in four games Sunday to lead a 2-0 victory over the Washington Capitals and even their Eastern Conference series at one game apiece.

The Flyers return home for Tuesday's Game 3 knowing they've had their way with the Capitals for five of six periods. Were it not for a third-period collapse in Game 1, they'd be up 2-0 in the series.

"Everybody always says you want to split, going on the road, after the first two games," said Biron, who made 24 saves. "We played really well on the road, and now we have to carry that over."

Biron kicked Ovechkin's power-play wrist shot away in the first period, used the handle of his stick to deflect Alexander Semin's breakaway attempt in the second and sprawled on his back while corralling the puck with his left arm to thwart Dave Steckel in the third. The goalie who ended the regular season with back-to-back shutouts was back in form after allowing five goals in his NHL playoff debut Friday.

"He made some big saves early," Flyers center Mike Richards said. "I think three or four of them were point-blank. When a goalie does that, it gives you opportunities and momentum."

By contrast, the Capitals -- and their fans -- appeared to have overspent on playoff excitement in Game 1. The team lacked the energy and creativity it showed in Friday's 5-4 victory, and the red-clad masses at the sold-out Verizon Center weren't nearly as loud as they were two days earlier.

"We got outworked, and that doesn't sit well in here," center Brooks Laich said. "I think they were hungry and more desperate. They don't want to go down 2-0 in the series, and I think they stepped their game up to the next level today and we didn't do it."

Ovechkin went for broke in the first period, staying on the ice for 10 minutes spanning just six shifts. The 22-year-old Russian scored the winner in the third period Friday after failing to get a shot on goal in the first two periods, but on Sunday he had three of his five shots in the opening period.

"I didn't like how much he played," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "He stayed on too long. It's hard when it's Alex. He wants to go so badly. He gets it in his head, 'I can do it,' and most nights he can. He looked a little tired, but he looked a little frustrated as well. He wasn't getting the puck, and they were all on him when he did touch the puck.

"We've got to give him a chance to have a mediocre game once in a while."

Ovechkin didn't get pushed around quite as much as he did in Game 1, but at times he and his teammates were merely out of sync. His low point was a complete whiff when attempting a shot from the blue line in the final minute of the second period.

"We didn't play hard," Ovechkin said, "and we didn't play our style."

The loss ended the Capitals' eight-game winning streak, as well as a victorious run of seven in a row at home.

The Flyers got all the goals they needed with a pair of odd-man rushes in the first period. Defenseman Braydon Coburn made a long lead pass from his own end to Umberger near the Capitals blue line. Umberger split the defense, which was in disarray following a line change, and beat goaltender Cristobal Huet up high on the breakaway.

A turnover at center ice led to the second goal. Mike Knuble stole the puck and started a 2-on-1 rush. Huet made a kick save on Knuble's shot, but Carter was there to chip in the easy rebound.

Biron took care of the rest, with the help of a defense that cleared nearly every rebound, leaving no garbage-goal opportunities for the Capitals. He and his teammates also killed off all six Washington power plays.

"I think we did a great job taking away a lot of the shots, their big weapons," Biron said, "especially when we're on the penalty kill. We got in front of a lot of pucks out there or made them pass it around instead of shooting. That's something we did well."

Notes

  • Flyers D Randy Jones (flu) and RW Sami Kapanen (flu, neck) returned after missing Game 1. LW Patrick Thoresen, hospitalized Friday night after being struck in the groin by a puck in Game 1, did not play but is a possibility for Game 3.
  • Capitals D Jeff Schultz played after missing Game 1 with an undisclosed injury.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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No one can solve Martin Biron these days as he records his third shutout in four games.  (AP)
No one can solve Martin Biron these days as he records his third shutout in four games. (AP)

Related Links
 
Scoreboard
Philadelphia  (1-1-0) «2002
Washington (1-1-0)0000
Three Stars
M. Biron
PHI


Saves: 24
Save Pct.: 1.000
R. Umberger
PHI


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 0
B. Coburn
PHI


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
05:53R.J. Umberger (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Braydon Coburn
15:17Jeff Carter (1), Wrist Shot. Assist: Mike Knuble
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
None
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
29.0Timonen, 2 min, Holding
06:18Hartnell, 2 min, Cross-Checking
08:48Schultz, 2 min, Hooking
10:06Hartnell, 2 min, Goaltender Interference
17:51Lupul, 2 min, Hooking
2ND PERIOD
01:16Timonen, 2 min, Holding
12:02Backstrom, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
01:03Coburn, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
01:58Green, 2 min, Hooking
14:10Jurcina, 2 min, Holding
16:51Green, 2 min, Interference
Shots On Goal
 123T
Philadelphia9141841
Washington106824
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Martin Biron60:00240
Cristobal Huet59:12392
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Philadelphia0-for-0
Washington0-for-0
Game Information
Attendance - 18277
Referees - Dave Jackson, Chris Rooney
Linesmen - Steve Barton, Shane Heyer
 
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NYR 3
SJ 3 Final
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