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Capitals snap 16-game winless streak in Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Although he's only in his third year as coach of the Washington Capitals, Glen Hanlon appreciated the significance of his team's first win in Philadelphia in nearly nine years.

Alexander Ovechkin scored two of Washington's four goals in the first period and carried the Capitals to a 5-3 victory against the Flyers on Saturday night that snapped a 16-game winless streak in Philadelphia.


"I haven't been here, but I'm aware of it," Hanlon said.

Ben Clymer also scored twice, and Shaone Morrisonn added the other goal for the Capitals, who were 0-15-1 in their last 16 trips to Philadelphia.

"It's part of our progress here that you try to win in buildings where you haven't won," Hanlon said. "It says something at where you are as far as building a team because this is usually the kind of mark that you try to meet as far as competitiveness and challenging and physical play.

"It's just good for us to get this win."

Simon Gagne, Geoff Sanderson, and R.J. Umberger scored for the Flyers (3-9-1), off to one of the worst starts in franchise history.

The Capitals chased Flyers goaltender Robert Esche by scoring four times on eight shots in the opening period. Antero Niittymaki allowed one goal on 11 shots in relief.

"We talked about having a good start, and we came out down 4-1," Flyers captain Peter Forsberg said. "To be honest, we aren't playing good enough to win any hockey games, either. Right now it's just a tough time and if you don't work hard, we're not going to get out of it."

Brent Johnson made 33 saves to earn his first win of the season.

Ovechkin put Washington ahead at 3:53 of the first period with a spinning shot after he picked up a loose puck in front of the crease.

Gagne tied it at 12:33 with a brilliant breakaway move, going forehand to backhand after skating the length of the ice.

The Capitals regained the lead for good at 12:59 when Clymer batted the puck in during a scramble. Washington then scored twice within 17 seconds. Morrisonn converted a long slap shot at 18:24 and Ovechkin finished off a 2-on-1 with Chris Clark at 19:01 to make it 4-1.

The Capitals bounced back after losing at home to Atlanta, 4-3 on Friday night.

"We had a tough loss ... and I think we were really fired up to come out and play," Clymer said. "We really wanted to establish ourselves in the first period. We came out hard and got four.

"Obviously it wasn't quite Esche's night. I'm sure he'd like to have a few of those back. But we'll take them any way we can get them, really."

Clymer scored again off a rebound 29 seconds into the third period.

Sanderson scored for the Flyers at 6:40, and Umberger cut the deficit to 5-3 with a power-play goal at 14:59.

Game notes
Washington's previous win in Philadelphia was a 3-2 overtime decision on Jan. 31, 1998. ... Flyers C Randy Robitaille will be sidelined 7-to-10 after he sprained his left knee and ankle against Tampa Bay on Thursday. ... Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists). ... The Flyers were 1-for-6 on the power play. They have the NHL's worst percentage, converting seven times in 80 chances (.088).