The Philadelphia Flyers went into Tuesday night’s return match with the Washington Capitals looking to redeem themselves after choking away a three-goal lead to the same Caps team on Sunday.
The Flyers did just that and extended their home winning streak to seven games but did so at the possible cost of losing another key forward to injury.
Jake Voracek scored twice and Matt Read, Mark Streit and Wayne Simmonds each added a goal as the Flyers defeated the Capitals, 5-2, at Wells Fargo Center but may have lost Brayden Schenn after a scary hit where Schenn went face first into the boards and struggled to get up. You can watch the video of the play above.
With the teams tied at two and just under five minutes left in the second period, Schenn attempted to play a puck in the corner behind his team’s net when Caps’ rookie Tom Wilson raced in from out of nowhere and steamrolled him from behind.
Schenn went face first into the boards with his body almost parallel to the boards. He tried three times to get up and skate to the Flyers’ bench under his own power but fell down each time and needed assistance before making it to the bench successfully.
Wilson was given a five-minute, major penalty for charging and a game misconduct. The Flyers scored twice on the ensuing power play – Streit and Voracek did the honors – to take a 4-2 lead and they never looked back.
Schenn didn’t return to the game and the Flyers said he has the mysteriously-vague “upper-body injury.” The good news is the Flyers think Schenn will be ok. Neil Hartman reported on Postgame Live that Schenn walked out of the building under his own power.
Personally, I think it’s a suspendable offense but for no more than a few games. Though he never saw Wilson coming, Schenn turned ever-so-slightly just before the hit and that helped the awkwardness of his landing. That doesn't change the fact the Wilson never attempted to slow down or even try to make a play on the puck.
When are hockey players going to learn that they just can’t hit other players from behind anymore? It’s not like it used to be. It’s an incredibly fast game now so these high-speed hits from behind have to be avoided before something catastrophic happens.
It’s almost like the NFL and shots to the head by defenders. Not only does it hurt the player, it hurts the offending player’s team. Just ask the Capitals tonight because they never recovered from that dumb and dangerous hit.
Here’s where things get interesting.
After the game, Flyers’ coach Craig Berube called Wilson’s hit on Schenn “reckless.” Caps’ coach Adam Oates told reporters that he “didn’t think Wilson should have been penalized” and Caps’ general manager George McPhee went one step further and called it a “great hit.”
Oh. Well then.
This rivalry has sure had some simmer to it this season, hasn’t it?
Steve Mason rebounded from a tough outing Sunday with a 24-save performance in the win, which put Philadelphia just one point behind Carolina for the last Metropolitan Division playoff spot. With Toronto’s loss, on Tuesday, Philadelphia now sits just three points behind Toronto for the last Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.