PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Washington Capitals showed they can do just fine without Alex Ovechkin.
With their captain and leading scorer at home nursing an injury, the Capitals put together their best offensive effort of the season in a 7-0 rout of the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.
Joel Ward scored three goals for his first NHL hat trick in the fight-filled outburst.
Ward's linemate, Jason Chimera, added a goal and three assists, and Nicklas Backstrom and Mikhail Grabovski each had three points as the Capitals (6-7) won for the first time this season when Ovechkin didn't score a goal.
Ovechkin didn't make the trip to Philadelphia because of an upper-body injury.
"When (Chimera) and I talked in the warmup, I said, 'Gee, I feel pretty good today,'" Ward said. "He kind of looked at me and said the same thing.
"We've just been rolling. (Chimera) has been flying and getting some big goals for us."
Washington had been 0-4 when Ovechkin, who entered Friday second in the league with 10 goals, didn't score.
"We worked as a team," Backstrom said. "We scored on our chances. That's what you have to do, especially when you have a good goal-scorer out of the lineup.
"Lots of guys stepped up, and that's exactly what we needed."
Braden Holtby coasted to a shutout, making 30 saves.
Ward's third-period goal that made it 7-0 sparked a brawl. Just 9 seconds later, Philadelphia's Wayne Simmonds fought Washington's Tom Wilson. Flyers goalie Ray Emery then took on Holtby in another bout.
"As a group, I think it's a frustrating night," Emery said. "Fans are frustrated, and we don't accept that. I think frustration sometimes shows that way."
Emery received the highest total of 29 penalty minutes. He was charged with leaving the goal crease, instigating a fight, and fighting. He was also ejected from the game.
During the fight, he knocked Holtby off his feet and landed several hits before an official broke it up.
"He didn't want to fight, but I basically said, 'Protect yourself,'" Emery said.
In the melee, a total of 114 penalty minutes were handed out. Overall, Philadelphia racked up 99 penalty minutes, and Washington received 65.
"They play that type of game," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "They like five, seven power plays a night, both sides. We don't. We want to roll four lines. We want to get everybody involved."
Holtby was perfect in handing the Flyers their first shutout loss of the season. Philadelphia (3-9) entered tied for last in the league with just 20 goals.