Mantha shines in debut, Ovechkin scores as Caps rout Flyers

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WASHINGTON — Anthony Mantha had a two points in his Washington debut, Alex Ovechkin scored the 728th goal of his NHL career and the Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 6-1 Tuesday night for their third consecutive victory.

The East Division-leading Capitals went 3 for 3 on the power play as part of another offensive outburst. They routed the banged-up Boston Bruins 8-1 Sunday night on the eve of the trade deadline.

They gave up skilled young forward Jakub Vrana, a first-round pick and a second-rounder to get Mantha from Detroit in the hopes of better positioning themselves for another deep playoff run. So far, so good: Mantha picked up an assist on Tom Wilson’s goal in the first period, then showed off his shot in the second for his 12th of the season.

Ovechkin scored his team-leading 22nd in the third, beating Brian Elliott from his trademark spot inside the faceoff circle on the power play. The Capitals’ captain is now three back of Marcel Dionne for fifth on the career goals list.

Washington’s longest- and shortest-tenured players weren’t the only ones to get in on the goal-scoring fun against Philadelphia, which sold at the deadline and looked like a team ready for the offseason. Conor Sheary, Wilson, Nicklas Backstrom and Carl Hagelin scored the other goals.

Sheary added two assists for a three-point game. Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves for his 10th victory of the season.

Sean Couturier scored Philadelphia’s only goal, Elliott allowed six goals on 32 shots and the Flyers lost for the sixth time in eight games.

GOALIE ROTATION

Samsonov started for Washington after rookie goalie Vitek Vanecek won the previous two games. The Capitals didn’t add a veteran between the pipes at the deadline and know Henrik Lundqvist won’t be coming back, so the net belongs to Samsonov and Vanecek for the rest of the season.

“We found out that the two goaltenders that we have are pretty good and we have a lot of confidence in them,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “Trough the way the year has evolved and the way the goaltenders have played, we feel like these guys are ready for the job.”

But Laviolette is in zero rush to name a No. 1 goalie.

“I think it would be a mistake to tab one guy and run him 13 games out of the last 15 or 16 that we have and say ‘This is our guy,’” he said. “Just keep these guys doing what they’re doing, having them compete each day to be the great goalie … that they have been for us. I think that that’s important.”

NO RAFFL

The Flyers traded pending free agent forward Michael Raffl to the Capitals for a fifth-round pick Monday, but he didn’t make his Capitals debut against his former team because of an injury the team thinks is minor.

“He’s dealing with something,” Laviolette said. “We don’t feel like it’s anything that’s going to be way long term, but we need to get him here — he’s not here yet — and just do an evaluation and do what’s best for him getting ready for the playoffs.”

LAUGHTON STAYS

While Philadelphia traded Raffl and sent defenseman Erik Gustafsson to Montreal, forward Scott Laughton stuck around and signed a $15 million, five-year extension. General manager Chuck Fletcher received many calls from contending colleagues about Laughton, who wanted to stay and got the long-term contract he wanted.

“It was pretty important for me to have that security,” Laughton said. “I really believe in this franchise and the people around it, so I want to be a part of something here where we can do something special, and having that term is part of that.”

Canucks’ Ilya Mikheyev to have season-ending knee surgery

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VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Vancouver Canucks right wing Ilya Mikheyev is set to have season-ending surgery on his left knee.

Canucks general manager Patrik Allvin said Friday night the 28-year-old Russian forward tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee in the team’s first preseason game Sept. 25. Mikheyev will undergo surgery next week and is expected to be ready for training camp in the fall.

Mikheyev was originally listed as week-to-week with the injury and played 45 regular-season games, finishing with 13 goals and 15 assists. He scored in his final appearance Friday night, a 5-2 home victory over Columbus.

Mikheyev signed a four-year, $19 million contract as a free agent last summer.

Maple Leafs’ Matthews out at least 3 weeks with knee injury

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Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews will miss at least three weeks with a sprained knee.

The team announced the reigning MVP’s anticipated absence Friday, two days after Matthews was injured in Toronto’s victory against the New York Rangers.

Matthews is expected to miss at least six games and could be out for a few more. The timing of the injury coinciding with the NHL All-Star break and the Maple Leafs bye week prevents this from costing Matthews more time out of the lineup.

After being voted an All-Star by fans, Matthews is now out of the event scheduled for Feb. 3-4 in Sunrise, Florida. The league announced Aleskander Barkov from the host Florida Panthers will take Matthews’ place on the Atlantic Division All-Star roster.

Matthews, who won the Hart Trophy last season after leading the NHL with 60 goals, has 53 points in 47 games this season.

Caufield opted for surgery with Habs out of playoff race

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MONTREAL — Montreal Canadiens winger Cole Caufield said Friday he wouldn’t be having season-ending surgery on his right shoulder if the team were in playoff contention.

But with the Canadiens near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings, the 22-year-old Caufield said he decided to have the surgery to protect his long-term health. The procedure is scheduled to be performed by Dr. Peter Millett on Wednesday.

“I didn’t want to stop playing,” Caufield said. “I had a couple tests done to look at it more clearly but, in the end, like it could’ve been one more fall and it could have been even worse.”

Caufield, who leads the Canadiens with 26 goals in 46 games, had three different medical opinions on his shoulder before concluding that his season was over.

“I think they’ve seen a lot more than I have and they know the differences and what they like or don’t like about it,” he said about the medical opinions. “Long term, I think this is what’s best but for sure it was tough to sit out that game against Toronto on Saturday night.”

Caufield initially felt the injury in an awkward fall during Montreal’s 4-2 loss at Dallas on Dec. 23. He said his right shoulder popped, and he replaced it himself.

Caufield felt it again in the Habs’ 4-3 loss at Nashville on Jan. 12. The club announced on Jan. 21 that Caufield would miss the rest of the season.

Caufield is nearing the end of his three-year, entry-level contract and will be a restricted free agent this summer.

All-Star Matty Beniers to miss next 2 games for Kraken

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SEATTLE — Seattle Kraken rookie All-Star Matty Beniers will miss the team’s final two games before the All-Star break after taking a big hit from Vancouver’s Tyler Myers earlier this week.

Seattle coach Dave Hakstol said after morning skate Friday that Beniers would not play Friday night against Calgary or Saturday against Columbus. Hakstol did not speculate on Beniers’ availability for next weekend’s All-Star Game in Florida.

The team has not specified what kind of injury Beniers sustained from the hit. He was barreled over by Myers away from the play early in the second period in Wednesday’s 6-1 victory over Vancouver. Myers was penalized for interference on the play. Beniers returned briefly for one shift later in the period but did not play in the third period.

Beniers is Seattle’s lone All-Star selection this season. He leads all rookies in goals (17) and points (36), and is fifth in total ice time for rookies.

Seattle also placed defenseman Justin Schultz on injured reserve and recalled forward Max McCormick from Coachella Valley of the AHL. Hakstol said Schultz is improving but there’s no timeline on his return.