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Instant analysis: Flyers vs. Capitals, Game 5

Neuvirth, deflected goal help Philadelphia extend series second time

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals 2-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center on Friday.

After being down 3-0 in the best-of-7 series, the Flyers are within 3-2 with Game 6 at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday.

Goaltender Michal Neuvirth, who began his NHL career with the Capitals, made a career-high 44 saves for his second Stanley Cup Playoff shutout. Washington had a 44-11 advantage in shots on goal.

Ryan White's goal 7:52 into the second period gave the Flyers a 1-0 lead and came on the first of their two shots on goal of the period. It would have gone wide but banked in off the right skate of Capitals defenseman Taylor Chorney.

Chris VandeVelde scored an empty-net goal with 30.8 seconds left.

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

What we learned: Neuvirth, a second-round pick (No. 34) by the Capitals in the 2006 NHL Draft, is becoming major headache for Washington. He has allowed one goal on 76 shots over the past two games. When the Capitals were able to stay out of the penalty box (they gave the Flyers five power plays in the opening 25:49), they dominated play, outshooting the Flyers 30-5 over the last two periods, including 16-2 in the second period when the shot attempts were 30-4. Since the start of the third period of Game 4, the Capitals have outshot the Flyers 57-15 but have scored one goal.

The Capitals killed all six Flyers power plays. White's goal came three seconds after one of them expired.

What this means for the Capitals: The ghosts of 2010 when, as the Presidents' Trophy winners, they blew a 3-1 series lead losing to the Montreal Canadiens in the first round, are beginning to stir. Neuvirth is playing the role of Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 131 of 134 shots for Montreal over the final three games of that series.

What this means for the Flyers: Thanks mostly to Neuvirth, they remain alive again to play at least one more game. They are trying to become the fifth team in NHL history to come back from trailing 3-0 to win a best-of-7 series. The Flyers were one of the first four, completing the comeback against the Boston Bruins in the second round of the 2010 playoffs.

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm5: Neuvirth robs Beagle with left skate

Key moment: There were many big saves by Neuvirth, but he did a full split to make a left-pad save on Jay Beagle on shorthanded 2-on-1 9:19 into the third period. White was called for interference a 9:40, giving the Capitals their third power play. The Flyers came up with perhaps their best kill of the series, limiting the Capitals to one shot on goal. Then it was back to relying on Neuvirth to get them through the rest of the game.

Unsung player of the game: Give credit to Flyers defensemen Radko Gudas and Nick Shultz for taking turns battling with Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin, who was a force with eight shots on goal and eight hits but no goals.

What's next: Game 6 is at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday ((noon ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports). The Flyers will look to ride their momentum and force Game 7 at Verizon Center on Wednesday.

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