Laughton hat trick lifts Flyers to win against Capitals

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WASHINGTON — Scott Laughton scored his first NHL hat trick to help the Philadelphia Flyers to a 7-4 win against the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Sunday.

Sean Couturier, who returned after missing 10 games with a rib injury, scored two goals and had an assist for the Flyers (8-3-2). James van Riemsdyk had a goal and an assist and Carter Hart made 33 saves.

Alex Ovechkin scored two goals and had two assists for Washington (6-3-3). He has 711 goals in his NHL career, seventh all-time and six behind Phil Esposito for sixth.

Tom Wilson scored a goal and had his first three-assist NHL game for the Capitals. Vitek Vanecek was pulled at 16:36 of second period after allowing four goals on 14 shots. Craig Anderson allowed two goals in eight shots in his Capitals debut.

Couturier scored on a rebound 31 seconds into the third period to give the Flyers a 5-4 lead. Laughton scored his third of the game to make it 6-4 at 17:51, and Couturier’s empty-net goal made it 7-4 at 18:38.

Ovechkin gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 11:11 of the first period, and set up Wilson’s goal to make it 2-0 at 16:36. Ovechkin, on the rush, dropped the puck between his skates and pushed it through Flyers defenseman Philippe Myers, regained it and then passed across the slot to Wilson, who was charging the net.

Laughton scored for Philadelphia to make it 2-1 at 18:33 of the first.

Philadelphia tied it 2-2 at 2:29 of the second period when Laughton scored from a sharp angle.

Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead 3-2 at 4:58.

Robert Hagg tied it 3-3 for the Flyers at 7:50, and Philadelphia went ahead 4-3 at 16:36 on van Riemsdyk’s goal.

Van Riemsdyk extended his point streak to seven games (four goals, nine assists).

The Capitals made it 4-4 with 57 seconds remaining in the second when Ovechkin fed Nicklas Backstrom in the slot for a backhand goal.

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