WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 01: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals scores on Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period of an NHL hockey at Verizon Center on February 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)

Flyers slide into tie for last in East, Simmonds has head injury


The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals had all of three wins between them going into Friday’s game.

The two slumping juggernauts were scoreless through the first half of the contest, but sparks had been flying well before the first goal.

Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was knocked out of the game late in the first period after absorbing a high elbow by Capitals defenseman John Erskine.

“It looked dirty when I first saw it,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said, according to Washington Times reporter Stephen Whyno. “Tough hit.”

Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo and Washington’s Matt Hendricks got into a fight as a result of the incident and both combatants were ejected from the game. However, Erskine wasn’t punished for his actions.

The silver lining is that Simmonds doesn’t appear to have a concussion based on the initial tests, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi, but he’s still suffering from a head injury and whiplash. Additionally, he’ll have to be tested again tomorrow.

Consequently, Philadelphia probably won’t have Simmonds on Sunday and right now they could use all the help they can get. Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, and Wojtek Wolski each found the back of the net to lead the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Flyers.

With this victory, Washington has leapfrogged over Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference standings. To make matters worse, the Carolina Hurricanes also surpassed the Flyers by shutting out Ottawa tonight.

Philadelphia is now tied with the Florida Panthers for last place in the Eastern Conference, although the Flyers have played in one additional game.

WATCH LIVE: Lightning at Red Wings

Henrik Zetterberg, Steven Stamkos
Leave a comment

Mike Babcock’s reign with the Detroit Red Wings ended in another first-round defeat, yet it may be lost in time just how close that series was.

Yes, the Tampa Bay Lightning shut down the Red Wings to win Game 7 at home, but Ben Bishop deserves a ton of the credit. The Red Wings snagged the puck for much of the contest, just not enough to beat the big goalie.

While change is in the air in Detroit, the Bolts are largely the same squad that generated a nice showing in the 2015 Stanley Cup Final. We’ll get to see if the Red Wings gain a measure of revenge on NBCSN tonight, with home-ice advantage this time around.


After healthy scratch, Severson vows to play ‘next 80 games’

Jimmy Hayes, Damon Severson
Leave a comment

Damon Severson was a healthy scratch on Saturday.

It’s the last game he wants to miss this season.

“I had a good chat with a few people and just pretty much said, ‘I want to be in the next 80 games,’” Severson said, per The Record. “I sat out my game and that’s all I want to be out for for the year.”

Severson is one of the Devils’ most important young players. But this is also the 21-year-old defenseman’s sophomore season, and that’s when slumps can occur.

Hence, the early message he was sent by the coaching staff.

Severson is expected to be back in the lineup tonight when New Jersey hosts Nashville.

“He doesn’t have to be perfect,” coach John Hynes told reporters. “We’d just like to see him have a high compete level. We know he’s ready to go. We had a couple of good meetings with him. He’s in a good spot mentally. I know he’s ready to roll.”