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Instant analysis: Flyers vs. Capitals, Game 4

Neuvirth, traffic in front help Philadelphia avoid sweep by Washington

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / Staff Writer

PHILADELPHIA -- The Philadelphia Flyers defeated the Washington Capitals 2-1 in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

The Flyers stayed alive in the best-of-7 series, which the Capitals lead 3-1.

Flyers goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 31 saves against his former team for his first Stanley Cup Playoff win since April 23, 2011, when he helped the Capitals to a 3-1 Game 5 win against the Rangers to close that first-round series.

Flyers rookie defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere scored his first NHL playoff goal on a power-play point shot 5:51 into the game. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald scored through a screen on a left point shot 3:31 into the second period to make it 2-0. Capitals forward T.J. Oshie scored on a rebound 2:38 into the third period to get the Capitals on the board.

What we learned: The Flyers finally got some traffic in front of Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby and it paid off. They scored two goals on their first 18 shots on goal after getting two goals on 93 shots in the first three games. Wayne Simmonds provided the screen in front on Gostisbehere's goal, which ended an 0-for-13 power-play drought to start the series. It appeared Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner screened Holtby on the second goal. The Flyers also made an adjustment on the penalty kill, being more aggressive to cover point man John Carlson, who had three power-play goals in the first three games.

The Capitals did not test Neuvirth much in the first two periods, appearing content to stay to the outside. They upped the pressure in the third but could not get more than one goal.

Video: WSH@PHI, Gm4: Gostisbehere blasts puck home for PPG

What this means for the Capitals: After not playing with the urgency required to sweep a best-of-7 series for the first time, the Capitals must regroup and find a way to raise their intensity for Game 5 at home Friday.

What this means for the Flyers: They get to play at least one more game after coming up with their best performance of the series. 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 that comeback against Boston in the second round of the 2010 playoffs.

Key moment: After Oshie's goal made it 2-1, the Capitals stepped up the pressure and Neuvirth came up with big saves on Nate Schmidt's open shot from the right circle at 9:08 of the third period and another on Andre Burakovsky from the right circle. Those were among the 12 saves Neuvirth made in the period.

Unsung player of the game: Flyers defenseman Radko Gudas blocked seven shots and had five hits to help hold Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin in check. Ovechkin, who had three goals on 13 shots in the first three games, had two shots on goal Wednesday.

What's next: Game 5 is at Verizon Center on Friday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-PH, CSN-DC). The Flyers will try to force Game 6 back here on Sunday.

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