The goals and the gore came quickly last night at Capital Center and the Washington Capitals lost both categories as they dropped a 6-1 decision to the Philadelphia Flyers.
The biggest fight came 2 1/2 minutes into the second period when the Capitals' rookie defenseman, Rogert Picard, had his nose broken --memorable battle with Rick LaPointe and Gary Dornhoefer.
Picard's nose was the most serious casualty although the referees whistled 124 minutes of penalties, setting a centre record. Picard was carried off the ice by several teammates and did not play again. But he should be available Tuesday night against Colorado.
Picard was down on the ice for five minutes being attended to by a team doctor after he was apparently kneed in the nose. Capital trainer Gump Embro may well have saved Picard's life when he pried open his mouth and pulled Picard's tongue from his throat to prevent Picard from choking. Dornhoefer was put off the ice for the night with a game misconduct because he was the third man in the fight that started between Picard and LaPointe.
The Capitals lost their fourth straight game and have yet to beat the Philadelphia Brawlers in a hockey game. But Coach Tom McVie took a bit of solace from the fact that his players never backed down from a skirmish in this fight-filled affair.
"In no way were we intimidated," said McVie. "Not in one instance did our hockey club back off. The Flyers didn't either."
The Flyers, as usual, brought thousands of raucous rooters with them and did not disappoint their faithful in the crowd of 17,826.
They opened a 4-1 lead in the first period, scored three power-play goals for the night and banged bodies and knuckles with the Capitals from the opening faceoff.
In the first period alone, the Flyers gott off 21 shots on Capital goalie Jim Bodard and dominated play even when the Capitals had a man-advantage mid-way through the period. Pheladelphia had three short-handed shots in that stretch, the Caps had none.
The Caps, in fact, did not have a shot on goal in the first 5 1/2 minutes of the period although Bedard made his presence felt when he went after Flyer wing Paul Holmgren, who lingered too long in the crease.
But Philadelphia's firepower, even without injured Bobby Clarke, was too much for a Washington team outshot 34-14.
Flyer wing Bill Barber had two goals and an assist and rookie goaltender Rick St. Croix, playing his fourth NHL game, got his second victory in two nights. He hardly broke a sweat.
Philadelphia defenseman Moose Dupont opened the scoring on a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle at 2:09 of the period. It was his second goal of the season.
Barber connected on a 40-footer with Bedard screened off at 8:42 of the period. The Flyers had a power play after Gord Lane was sent off for slashing.
Reggie Leach gave the Flyers a 3-0 lead on a slapshot that broke his stick, hit a Washington defender and trickled past Bedard at 8:59 of the period.
Bill Riley gave Capital fans faint hope when he broke free down the left side, deked twice and popped a backhand shot past St. Croix at 13:08 to cut the lead to 3-1.
But the Flyers retaliated 24 seconds before the period ended when Don Saleski skated out from behind the net on a power play and backhanded a shot past Bedard.
For the rest of the night, Capital partisans had to be content to watch their heroes trade blows, not goals, with the Philadelphians.