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Capitals look to close out Flyers in Game 5

Philadelphia will have Neuvirth back in net in bid to extend series

by Katie Brown / Correspondent


Eastern Conference First Round

Washington leads best-of-7 series 3-1

TV: 7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-DC, CSN-PH

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals have a second chance to close out the Philadelphia Flyers, this time on home ice, in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center.

"It's all about us right now," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. "We control our destiny right now in this moment. We have to play hard, play simple and play smart. We have to dictate how we have to play."

The Capitals lost 4-1 in Game 4 at Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday.

Washington leads the best-of-7 series 3-1. Washington is 12-21 in Game 5s and 3-8 in Game 5 when leading 3-1.

Michal Neuvirth will be in net again for the Flyers. He made 31 saves in Game 4 to help the Flyers extend their season.

Neuvirth was drafted by the Capitals and spent his first seasons with them, including nine starts for them in the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

"It's always good to be back," Neuvirth said. "I still have lots of friends here. But we're here for business and we're going to try to win the hockey game and bring the series back to Philly."

The Flyers have scored the first goal in two consecutive games and want to do it again in Game 5. The Capitals have struggled with their starts during the season and in the playoffs, so getting a jump by scoring first is important.

"I think we've had a great start to every game in this series," Flyers forward Wayne Simmonds said. "So it's up to us to continue to do that. We've just got to keep the momentum going. We can't have any down spells."

The Capitals didn't lose consecutive games in regulation during the regular season, the only team in the NHL to do so. While that's a point of assurance for the Capitals, they know nothing is guaranteed in the playoffs.

"It gives us confidence in the fact that we can rebound from a loss," Capitals goalie Braden Holtby said. "But that stuff doesn't mean anything until you go out and do it and play your game, play the way you need to do in order to win."

Here are the projected lineups:


Brayden Schenn - Claude Giroux - Wayne Simmonds

Jakub Voracek - Michael Raffl - Sam Gagner

Matt Read - Nick Cousins - Colin McDonald

Chris VandeVelde - Pierre-Edouard Bellemare - Ryan White

Nick Schultz - Mark Streit

Andrew MacDonald - Shayne Gostisbehere

Brandon Manning - Radko Gudas

Michal Neuvirth

Steve Mason

Injured: Michael Del Zotto (wrist), Sean Couturier (upper body), Scott Laughton (upper body)

Scratched: R.J. Umberger, Jordan Weal, Evgeny Medvedev


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams

Jason Chimera - Mike Richards - Marcus Johansson

Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen

Nate Schmidt - John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov - Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Injured: Brooks Orpik (upper body)

Scratched: Mike Weber, Stanislav Galiev, Michael Latta

Status update: Laughton was released from the hospital Thursday but did not travel to Washington for Game 5. … Bellemare returns to the lineup after a one-game suspension. … Orpik will not play in Game 5. Coach Barry Trotz said Orpik worked out Friday and he doesn't have any long-term concerns about Orpik's health.

Who's hot: Oshie has four points in the past three games … Gostisbehere scored his first career playoff goal in Game 4, which also was his 23rd birthday.

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