Philadelphia Flyers Marc-Andre Bourdon (43) slams Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin, of Russia, into the boards during the first period of an NHL hockey game, Tuesday, Dec. 13, 2011, in Washington. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)
WASHINGTON - As the Philadelphia Flyers cope with one injury after another, they continue to pile up victories at an even faster pace.
Scott Hartnell extended his goal-scoring streak to six games, Marc-Andre Bourdon got his first NHL goal and the Flyers beat the Washington Capitals 5-1 Tuesday night for their sixth straight win.
Philadelphia was without the NHL's leading scorer, Claude Giroux, who is out indefinitely with a concussion. The right-wing missed his first game after accumulating 16 goals and 23 assists in 28 outings.
The Flyers have also been playing without defenceman Chris Pronger (knee) and centre Brayden Schenn (concussion), but they keep on winning. In this one, the Eastern Conference leaders built a 4-0 lead in the second period and coasted to the finish.
"Obviously, we miss those injured guys," veteran defenceman Kimmo Timonen said. "But as I've said many years, it's a team sport and if everybody's doing their job and you have a good team, it doesn't matter how many guys we're missing. I think we showed that today."
Virtually everyone contributed for the Flyers, including goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov, who stopped 31 shots. The lone flaw in his performance a tap-in by Jeff Halpern with 6:01 left.
"I thought the guys all chipped in," coach Peter Laviolette said. "Defensively, we were good. Bryz was outstanding in net. We really covered for the guys who were missing."
Washington had its two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 3-4 under coach Dale Hunter. The Capitals' first three losses with Hunter behind the bench were each by one goal.
This, however, was this kind of game that led to the firing of Hunter's predecessor, Bruce Boudreau. Washington generated very few chances on the offensive end, didn't play all that well on defence and received a spotty performance from goalie Tomas Vokoun.
"We did a terrible job making any attempt to make plays to get the puck out," Halpern said. "They're a good team. You can't give them free chances."
Washington star Alex Ovechkin was more succinct: "It was a pretty bad game for all of us."
The Capitals were 7-0-3 in their previous 10 games against Philadelphia, including a 5-2 win on Oct. 20.
The Flyers killed two Washington power plays in the first period, limited the Capitals to only five shots and took a 1-0 lead at 16:16 when Hartnell took a wrist shot from the top of the left circle that slipped between Vokoun's legs.
Hartnell has six goals and two assists during the Flyers' six-game win streak.
Philadelphia went up 2-0 at 7:23 of the second period when Bourdon took a slap shot from just inside the blue line that ticked off the stick of Capitals defenceman Mathieu Perreault and whizzed past Vokoun, who was screened by Flyers defenceman Jody Shelley. The 22-year-old Bourdon was playing in his 10th NHL game, all this season.
Bourdon is not to be confused with Giroux, but he was more than happy to supplement an offence operating without its most prolific player.
"We have great practices, a great system. Everybody's stepped up," the rookie said. "That's what a team is. Even when you're missing a player or two, you can still win."
Wayne Simmonds made it 3-0 at 14:19 by deflecting a shot by Andrej Meszaros past Vokoun, and Maxime Talbot scored at 17:33 with a shot that hit Vokoun in the chest and bounded into the net.
After giving up four goals on 21 shots, Vokoun was pulled after the second period and replaced by Michal Neuvirth.
"We lost the game in the second period," Ovechkin said.
Jakub Voracek put the Flyers ahead 5-0 by deflecting a shot by James van Riemsdyk at 5:26 of the final period.
NOTES: Philadelphia GM Paul Holmgren said the Flyers will be careful with Giroux. "Obviously, we're concerned. We're going to err on the side of caution," Holmgren said. ... Capitals D Mike Green missed a 15th straight game with a strained right groin muscle. He has missed 21 of the last 22 because of injuries. ... Philadelphia is 11-3-1 on the road, the best record in the Eastern Conference.
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