On April 19, 2008, the Caps took a 3-2 decision from the Flyers at Washington in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal series between the two teams. With the win, Washington staved off elimination, cut the Flyers’ series lead to 3-2 and sent the series back to Philadelphia for a sixth game.
The Capitals drew first blood on a Nicklas Backstrom goal at 7:31 of the first period. With Washington enjoying a two-man power play advantage, Alexander Semin snapped a sharp pass from the left half-wall to Backstrom, who was stationed at the right post. The Caps center tapped the feed pass Philly netminder Martin Biron to give Washington a 1-0 lead. Brooks Laich collected the secondary helper on the play.
Early in the second frame, the Caps pushed their lead to 2-0. Viktor Kozlov did some good work down low in the left corner of the Philly end, dodging and darting to elude Flyers defenders. Sergei Fedorov got into good position near the left dot, and Kozlov dished to him. Fedorov carved to the slot and fired a backhander that beat Biron at 1:25 of the middle stanza. Mike Green picked up an assist on the play as well.
The Flyers halved the Washington advantage at 12:35 of the second when Vinny Prospal beat Caps goalie Cristobal Huet on a Philly power play.
With just over five minutes left in the third, the Caps picked up a much-needed insurance tally. Semin and Green worked a give-and-go in neutral ice, with Green carrying across the Philly line, and then giving it to Semin again. The Caps winger skated a tight circle to shake a defender then drove into the slot and unleashed a wrist shot through traffic that eluded Biron to give the Caps a 3-1 lead. Fedorov was credited with an assist on Semin’s goal as well.
Less than a minute later, Philly’s Derian Hatcher scored to make it a 3-2 game. Washington and Huet held on the rest of the way to force a Game 6 in Philadelphia. The Flyers went on to win the series in seven games.