-- PHILADELPHIA -- Simon Gagne and rookie Jeff Carter made sure that the Philadelphia Flyers had little trouble adjusting to life without captain Keith Primeau. Gagne and Carter scored two goals each as the Flyers skated to an easy 8-1 victory over the Washington Capitals. Although the acquisitions of stars Peter Forsberg and Derian Hatcher grabbed most of the headlines in the offseason, Philadelphia has received stellar play from youngsters like Carter and Mike Richards. The Flyers will need the young duo to step up even more during the absence of Primeau, who is sidelined indefinitely with a concussion. After falling behind by a goal early in the opening period, Philadelphia benefited from some outstanding special teams play to take a 3-1 lead into the first intermission. Jon Sim netted a power-play goal 7 1/2 minutes into the game to forge a 1-1 and Carter gave the Flyers the lead for good five minutes later. Carter, who has tallied four times in his last four games, took a wrist shot from the top of the slot, but Capitals backup goaltender Brent Johnson turned aside the shot. Johnson could not control the rebound, however, and Carter backhanded the loose puck over Johnson to give Philadelphia a 2-1 lead with 7:29 remaining in the first. Carter doubled the Flyers' lead with less than a minute left in the session. With Philadelphia killing a penalty, Carter stole the puck from Washington rookie Alexander Ovechkin and skated into the left side of the Capitals' zone. Carter faked a backhand shot before skating across the crease and snapping a wrister past Johnson with just 25 seconds left. It was the rookie's first career shorthanded goal. Philadelphia exploded for four goals in the second session to extend its home unbeaten streak over Washington to 15 games. Gagne tallied twice while Forsberg registered a goal and two assists in the session for the Flyers, who have not lost at home to the Capitals since January 23, 1998. Sim finished with two goals, Mike Knuble scored three points and goalie Robert Esche stopped 29 shots as Philadelphia won its fifth straight home contest. Philadelphia defenseman Eric Desjardins left the game in the second period with a concussion and did not return. Johnson stopped 35 shots and Chris Clark scored the lone tally for Washington, which fell to 0-14-1 in its last 15 games at Philadelphia.
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