Philadelphia’s famously testy supporters lived down to their reputation on Monday amid a defeat that pushed the Flyers to the brink of elimination from the Stanley Cup play-offs.
Fans at the Wells Fargo Center pelted the ice with coloured wristbands given away for a pre-game light show during the third period of the Flyers’ 6-1 loss to the Washington Capitals, earning the home team a delay of game penalty and the contempt of their public-address announcer.
The incident happened shortly after Flyers right wing Pierre-Edouard Bellemare was ejected for a hit on Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov, who was struck by a bracelet while being treated on the bench, during a third period that saw the Capitals score four goals.
PA announcer Lou Nolan asked the fans to “show some class” and issued a warning that further band tossing would result in a penalty for the home team. When they continued, Nolan punctuated the announcement of the penalty: “Way to go.”
Flyers star Wayne Simmonds raised his hand toward the crowd and pleaded with fans to stop hurling the bracelets on to the ice. “I know they’re upset in that situation but that can’t happen,” Simmonds said.
The lopsided defeat lifts the Capitals to a three-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven series. Game 4 is Wednesday in Philadelphia.
“It’s a huge opportunity for us to come back home with the win and see what’s going to happen and who’s going to be next,” Alexander Ovechkin said. “They had a special moment, a tough moment, for them, and we tried to handle it. I think we managed it.”