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POSTGAME 5: Headed Back Home

by Brian Smith | / Philadelphia Flyers

Braden Holtby anchored the Capitals for the second straight game, stopping 41 shots en route to a 4-1 win for Washington in Game 2. The Flyers outshot Washington 19-5 in the first period and had a 5-on-3 power play opportunity for over a minute, but still could not get anything by Holtby in the first frame; meanwhile, John Carlson’s power play goal at the 14:09 mark gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at the first break. In the second period, a dump-in by Jason Chimera squeaked by Steve Mason, making it 2-0 Washington before a goal by Jake Voracek at the 9:37 mark finally got the Flyers on the board, making it 2-1. The Capitals restored the two-goal advantage with a power-play marker from Alex Ovechkin with 2:39 to play in the second, and finished things off with a goal from Nicklas Backstrom late in the third. Mason turned away 19 of 23 in the loss.  

Once again, Washington’s penalty kill canceled out the Flyers’ power play. Although the momentum didn’t stop when the Flyers couldn’t score on their lengthy five-on-three, the game would have taken a significantly different tone if they’d put one home. 

"We got some good looks, but at the end of the day, 5-on-3 this time of year we need to score a goal there," said Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. "We didn’t do that. We got some good looks; their goaltender was outstanding in that stretch as he was throughout the hockey game. At the end of the day, that’s one spot in the hockey game where we could have turned the momentum. Not the only one, but one spot."

1. Braden Holtby – made 41 saves to nullify the most shots the Flyers took in a playoff game since 2011.

2. Nicklas Backstrom – recorded a goal and two assists for his fifth career three-point game.   

3. John Carlson – Got the scoring started for the second consecutive game and also contributed an assist for a two-point night.

Philadelphia’s 42 shots on goal are the most they’ve had in a playoff game since May 2, 2011 when they had 54 vs. Boston in a 3-2 overtime loss in Game 2 of the 2011 Eastern Conference Semifinals. It’s the most they’ve had in a regulation game since April 21, 2009 when they had 46 in a 3-1 loss vs. Pittsburgh in Game 4 of the 2009 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals… The Flyers had 19 shots on goal in the first period, which is the most they’ve had in a playoff game since they had 19 in the first period of Game 3 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals vs. Pittsburgh on April 15, 2012… The Flyers had 81 shot attempts in the game to Washington’s 48… Wayne Simmonds led the Flyers with six shots on goal and was also credited with five hits. He played 20:25, which is the most he’s played in a game since Feb. 13 vs. NJD (21:45)… Radko Gudas led the Flyers with six hits and also was credited with five shots on goal and two blocks… Scott Laughton recorded five shots on goal in 11:10 of ice time.

“We keep playing the way we are right now, we’re going to start being successful. We can’t look at it like we’re down 2-0 and we’re going to start changing things. Our identity, the way we want to play, our hard work I think is going to pay off, so we’re going to stick with it.”  
(Claude Giroux)

“We did a lot of good things tonight… we’re excited to get back in front of our fans, in our building. This is a series where they did a good job at home and they came up with two wins. Now we go back to our building and we’re going to take it upon ourselves to do everything within our power to make sure we take advantage of our home ice in our building in front of our fans… this is no different a situation than we’ve been in really at any point this year. We’ve got our butts on the line, and I think that’s a pretty comfortable place for this group.”
(Dave Hakstol)

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