Flyers and Capitals rack up 56 penalty minutes in first period line brawl

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By Mike McMahon

The Philadelphia Flyers and Washington Capitals were at it again on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, adding to their long history of big hits and huge fights.

Their latest incident occurred at 11:59 in the first period when Flyers defenseman Luke Schenn hit Caps center Ryan Stoa into the rounded boards at the end of Washington's bench. The hit itself was clean, but that didn't stop a line brawl from breaking out. When the dust settled, Philly center Vincent Lecavalier and Washington defenseman John Erskine were handed game misconducts, Caps forward Tom Wilson racked up 17 PIM as a total of 56 were meted out. For his part in the melee, Schenn received five minutes for fighting, while teammate Wayne Simmonds was charged with two separate two-minute minors.

Both teams are in the top-five in the NHL in penalty minutes and have seen plenty of the penalty box during their last five meetings, which have produced a total of 354 PIM.

Some of Wednesday night's hostility can be traced back to November 1 when goaltenders Ray Emery and Braden Holtby engaged in an infamously one-sided bout (GALLERY: Wild Goalie Fights), a pair of hits on Schenn by Wilson on December 17, and Dmitry Orlov last week.

Tonight's festivities also helped the Flyers celebrate a dubious milestone: Ten years ago to the day, Philadelphia faced off with the Senators and set an NHL record with 419 penalty minutes between them.

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