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Flyers slide into tie for last in East, Simmonds has head injury

Feb 1, 2013, 10:26 PM EST

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 01: Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals scores on Ilya Bryzgalov #30 of the Philadelphia Flyers during the second period of an NHL hockey at Verizon Center on February 1, 2013 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals had all of three wins between them going into Friday’s game.

The two slumping juggernauts were scoreless through the first half of the contest, but sparks had been flying well before the first goal.

Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds was knocked out of the game late in the first period after absorbing a high elbow by Capitals defenseman John Erskine.

“It looked dirty when I first saw it,” Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said, according to Washington Times reporter Stephen Whyno. “Tough hit.”

Philadelphia’s Zac Rinaldo and Washington’s Matt Hendricks got into a fight as a result of the incident and both combatants were ejected from the game. However, Erskine wasn’t punished for his actions.

The silver lining is that Simmonds doesn’t appear to have a concussion based on the initial tests, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi, but he’s still suffering from a head injury and whiplash. Additionally, he’ll have to be tested again tomorrow.

Consequently, Philadelphia probably won’t have Simmonds on Sunday and right now they could use all the help they can get. Washington’s Nicklas Backstrom, Troy Brouwer, and Wojtek Wolski each found the back of the net to lead the Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Flyers.

With this victory, Washington has leapfrogged over Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference standings. To make matters worse, the Carolina Hurricanes also surpassed the Flyers by shutting out Ottawa tonight.

Philadelphia is now tied with the Florida Panthers for last place in the Eastern Conference, although the Flyers have played in one additional game.

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