They were involved in a line brawl in November that saw Flyers goaltender Ray Emery beat the pulp out of Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby. Capitals forward Tom Wilson boarded Flyers forward Brayden Schenn in December that earned him a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct. It didn't end there as Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov boarded Schenn on Sunday and earned himself a five-minute major and a two-game suspension.
Things boiled over in the first period of the Flyers 6-4 win over Washington on Wednesday night. After Capitals defenseman John Erskine hit Flyers center Vinny Lecavalier, Philadelphia defenseman Luke Schenn responded with a hard hit on Capitals forward Ryan Stoa. Both hits were clean but Wilson came over to challenge Schenn and mayhem ensued.
The linesmen originally broke up Schenn and Wilson before letting them go but the other guys on the ice got into it. Erskine and Simmonds were jawing when Vinny Lecavalier got involved with Erskine before Simmonds came over to help the Flyers' center.
It really was mayhem.
It was only the second time Erskine has fought this season but him has a history with Simmonds as Erskine was suspended three games last season for elbowing the Flyers' winger. The fight was Lecavalier's second of the year. Both fights were against the Capitals and both fights resulted in a game misconduct for Lecavalier.
The Flyers lead the league with 40 fights this season.
I know there were Capitals fans on social media yelling about Simmonds holding Erskine so Lecavalier can punch him. I don't think that was the intention of Simmonds (although no one knows his intentions except him) as it looked like he was just grabbing Erskine to get him to stop pounding on Lecavalier. I can see their side of the argument and I probably wouldn't have been happy if the tables were turned. Either way, it happened but Washington fans shouldn't be to quick to judge as it was Wilson who started this whole thing by confronting Schenn after a clean hit.
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