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POSTGAME 5: Caps Hold Serve

by Brian Smith | / Philadelphia Flyers

Braden Holtby stopped all 19 shots that came his way as the Capitals took a 2-0 win in Game 1 of their first round series against the Flyers. It was a scoreless game after the first period, in which the Flyers were unable to convert on three power play opportunities. Washington got on the board in the second period on their own third power play opportunity when John Carlson’s shot from the point was deflected and bounced past Steve Mason with 3:39 left in the period. Washington then took the 2-0 lead with just over three minutes left in the game when Marcus Johannsen forced a turnover in the neutral zone and fed Jay Beagle in the slot, who beat Mason to the upper glove side. Mason stopped 29 of 31 in the loss.

The game turned Washington’s way after the first period. The Flyers played an aggressive forechecking game early on and drew three Washington penalties as a result, but the Capitals stymied Philadelphia’s power play bids and made it to the first intermission without allowing a goal. From there, the Capitals only allowed the Flyers eight shots over the final two periods. 

1. Braden Holtby – turned away all 19 shots the Flyers faced, and rarely allowed any second chances on any of those bids. 

2. John Carlson – scored the eventual game-winning goal with a drive from the point that hit a Flyer high in the zone and bounced in like a wounded squirrel.  It was the kind of goal that’s needed to beat either of these world-class goaltenders in this series. 

3. Marcus Johannsen
– Set up both Washington goals on the evening. 

Flyers forward Sean Couturier left the game in the second period with an upper body injury and did not return. He will be re-evaluated Friday… The last time the Flyers won a playoff series after dropping Game 1 was the 2011 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals against Buffalo. The Sabres won Game 1 1-0 on April 14, 2011, but the Flyers went on to win the series in seven games. That was also the last time the Flyers were shut out in Game 1 of a series… The Flyers are now 1-4 in Game 1 of their five series against Washington. The Capitals also won Game 1 in 2008, 1989 and 1983; the Flyers took Game 1 in 1988. In the last three series between the clubs, the team that won Game 1 lost the series… Brayden Schenn was credited with seven hits, two shots on goal and a blocked shot. He was 5-for-10 on faceoffs… In addition to their 19 shots on goal, the Flyers had 30 shot attempts that didn’t reach the net; 23 of those 30 were blocked by the Capitals.

“They played a good game at the end there. We did have  lot of penalties and it’s a little frustrating because we were right in the game the whole game.”

(Claude Giroux)

"I really liked our effort. That was a tough hard hockey game. There were some things that we’ll clean up and talk about, some things that we can certainly do better in a lot of respects, and we’ll do that. It’s game one of the series. They got the first one, and we’ve got to go back to work here tonight and tomorrow and get ready for Game 2." 

(Dave Hakstol)

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