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Capitals aim to play with confidence in Game 6

Washington looks to end series Sunday after losing two straight to Philadelphia

by Katie Brown / Correspondent


Eastern Conference First Round

Washington leads best-of-7 series 3-2

TV: Noon ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports

Since 2008, when the Washington Capitals qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time after selecting Alex Ovechkin with the No. 1 pick at the 2004 NHL Draft, they have lost four of five best-of-7 series they led by two games at some point.

The most recent collapse happened in 2015, when the Capitals had a 3-1 series lead in the Eastern Conference Second Round but lost in seven games to the New York Rangers.

This year, Washington had a 3-0 lead in this first-round series against the Philadelphia Flyers before losing Games 4 and 5. Although the Capitals have to go back to Philadelphia for Game 6, they don't believe history will repeat itself.

"Everybody talks about, 'The past, the past, the past," Washington coach Barry Trotz said Saturday. "The only pressure we will have is on ourselves. We have to go into Philadelphia and we have to play really well and get a win there. If we don't accomplish that, then we will go to Game 7. Keep playing that way, and it will turn."

Forward Justin Williams said the Capitals have to play their game.

"If you don't have your confidence, you don't have your swagger and you're just someone who's waiting for something bad to happen," Williams said. "We want to make something good happen."

Washington lost Game 5 at Verizon Center on Friday 2-0 despite outshooting Philadelphia 44-11. It was the fewest shots in Flyers history, regular season or playoffs, but goalie Michal Neuvirth set Flyers records for most saves in a playoff shutout win and most saves in a postseason regulation victory.

In 2010, the Flyers came back to win their second-round series against the Boston Bruins after falling behind 3-0. Captain Claude Giroux, the only player remaining from that team, doesn't like the comparison.

"It's really hard to compare to 2010," Giroux said. "The way we work and all year we're battling to make the playoffs and we're playing playoff hockey for about three months there, to be in the position we are, we're starting to enjoy it. It's playoff hockey. It's a lot of fun."

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm5: Neuvirth makes the save on Ovechkin

Capitals team scope: Defenseman Brooks Orpik traveled to Philadelphia. He has been working out but has not skated since he sustained an upper-body injury in Game 3. "It's very encouraging," Trotz said Saturday. "He's feeling much better; he got a little workout today. We'll just go through the process." Trotz did not say whether Orpik would be available for the remainder of the first round.

Flyers team scope: Neuvirth has saved 75 of 76 shots in two starts since taking over for Steve Mason. Center Sean Couturier skated Saturday for the first time since he sustained an upper-body injury in Game 1. He is expected to miss the remainder of the first round. "He is doing well," general manager Ron Hextall said. "There is no timetable for his return."

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