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Tomas Fleischmann scored twice, Jose Theodore allowed just one late goal, and the Washington Capitals cruised to a 6-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche before an announced crowd of 14,172, on the second game of a four-game road trip.
The Caps (21-7-6) were up 5-0 toward the end of the second period, when David Koci slammed Mike Green from behind, leaving the Caps defenseman face-down on the ice for several moments.
Teammate John Erskine stood up for his fallen teammate by going toe-to-toe with the much larger Koci afterward.
Koci was penalized with a five-minute boarding major, and both players received fighting and 10-minute misconducts. Erskine took a two-minute instigator call as well.
Coach Bruce Boudreau was steamed after the game about the hit. "Fifteen feet, he saw Green's No. 52, and it didn't stop him one iota from hitting him in the back and going for the head," Boudreau said. "So I hope they throw the book at him."
"To me, that's just a bush-league hit," Boudreau added.
Green received stitches over his left eye, but pronounced himself fit to play Friday night in Vancouver.
Morrisonn also has a dust-up with Koci, and his status for Friday is "questionable," according to Boudreau.
With Green and Morrisonn out, Brooks Laich took a couple of penalty kills shifts in the third period with the team down to four defensemen.
At one point, Tom Poti and John Erskine were both in the box, leaving the team with just two defensemen, which prompted the promotion of Laich to the blue line.
Washington also recieved goals from Mike Knuble (6), Dave Steckel (2), Matt Bradley (6), and Nicklas Backstrom (11). Kyle Wilson, recalled from Hershey and making his NHL debut on his 25th birthday, had two assists, as did Chris Clark.
Theodore made 27 saves in his return to Colorado, where he played for two season before joining the Capitals.
He played solidly in goal, turning away everything that made it through to him until 11:21 remaining in the game, when Washington held a comfortable 5-0 margin.
It was the first loss for Colorado against an Eastern Conference team at home this season.
The Caps have a much-needed couple days off in western Canada before facing Vancouver on Friday night.