Richmond Times-Dispatch Weekend
Capitals fall to Flyers, miss chance to reclaim lead in East Division
Rookie Wade Allison scored twice, Brian Elliott made 28 saves and the visiting Philadelphia
Flyers beat the Capitals 4-2 on Friday night to prevent Washington from reclaiming first place in the East Division.
The Capitals trail the Pittsburgh Penguins by two points with two games left on their regular-season schedule. A Penguins victory in their regular-season finale against last-place Buffalo on Saturday and another Washington loss to Philadelphia hours later would clinch the division for Pittsburgh.
Long since eliminated from playoff contention, the Flyers nevertheless outplayed the Capitals, who were again without captain Alex Ovechkin and defenseman Justin Schultz because of lower-body injuries and top center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who’s on the NHL COVID protocol list. Rookie goaltender Vitek Vanecek allowed three goals on 28 shots in his third consecutive start with Ilya Samsonov also out for protocol reasons.
♦ Tom Wilson reached out to Artemi Panarin in the aftermath of the most talked about incident in hockey this week, and now he’s ready to move on from his latest controversy.
In his first interview since a scrum against New York that left Panarin injured, led to a $5,000 fine and sparked a fight-filled rematch two nights later, the Washington Capitals forward said Friday he’s good to go after an upper-body injury and glad the Rangers star is doing better.
“I’m feeling good,” said Wilson, who appeared to have cuts on his right hand from a fight with Brendan Smith on Wednesday night.
“I’m glad Panarin is doing well. He’s better. I reached out to him, and that’s really what matters right now.”
Wilson drew the ire of much of the NHL for his role in a scrum Monday night that the Rangers said caused Panarin to miss the final three games of the regular season with a lower-body injury. He was fined $5,000 for roughing Pavel Buchnevich and did not receive any supplemental discipline from the league’s department of player safety for throwing Panarin to the ice moments later — a decision the Rangers protested and were fined $250,000 for saying disciplinary czar George Parros wasn’t fit to remain in his job.