Wildness at the Wachovia Center as Flyers go to 3-0

     Seventy-seven shots, 11 goals, an NHL-record-tying performance by Matt Carle and, thanks to Mike Richards, the first Flyers hat trick in a home opener in the franchise's 42-year history.

     Yep, just another typical night at the Wachovia Center, where the Flyers outlasted the Washington Capitals on Tuesday, 6-5, in an OT thriller that was played at a frenzied pace.

    Carle tied an NHL record for a defesemen by collecting four assists in one period (the second), while Richards notched all three of his goals in that same 20-minute session _ and managed to overshadow Alex Ovechkin (two goals), Alexander Semin (two goals) and Nicklas Backstrom (three assists).

    “We don’t want to get involved in a track meet with the Pittsburghs and the Washingtons of the world," Flyers coach John Stevens said. "I think we’re built just a little bit differently, but we do have an exciting offensive team and I think you saw that tonight. But we’re going to be a little bit different in hopefully shutting the game down a little bit more. Ovechkin, Semin – that’s one of the best offensive lines in the league. But having said that, you look at our top two lines and you throw a guy like [Claude] Giroux in there, James [van Riemsdyk] is a young kid but he’s got a lot of offensive ability, and the ability of our back end to move the puck, and we have pretty good depth in our offense throughout our lineup.”

 

    The Flyers are 3-0 for the first time since 1998.

    All the news wasn't good. Center Blair Betts, a valuable penalty killer, suffered a dislocated right shoulder and will be sidelined at least four weeks. Van Riemsdyk played just two shifts after getting run into the boards in the second period; he will be checked for a possible concussion Wednesday. 

    Notes. The Flyers were 3 for 9 on the power play; Washington was 1 for 5.....Carle has six points in three games......Washington's Mike Green (28:23) and the Flyers' Chris Pronger (27:44) played the most minutes. Pronger had four giveaways, one that led to a Caps goal...Kimmo Timonen had a goal and two asists and played a game-high 33 shifts. Braydon Coburn also played 33 shifts.....On Thursday, the Flyers play host to the Penguins, the team that has eliminated them from the playoffs the last two years.