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game recap

Neuvirth, Flyers shut out Capitals in Game 5 win

Goalie makes 44 saves; Philadelphia cuts Washington's series lead to 3-2

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Michal Neuvirth has played in big games at Verizon Center, but this time was different. The goalie was going to play against the team that traded him in 2014, and the Philadelphia Flyers' season was on the line. 

Neuvirth made 44 saves, and the Flyers shut out the Washington Capitals 2-0 in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference First Round on Friday.

"I like to face a lot of shots," Neuvirth said. "It keeps me in the game. I enjoy it. Guys did a really good job in front of me. I was seeing the puck well. We didn't take any bad penalties, and we stuck to our system and big win for us."

Neuvirth set Flyers records for saves in a Stanley Cup Playoff shutout and regulation playoff win.

Washington leads the best-of-7 series 3-2, with Game 6 at Wells Fargo Center on Sunday (noon ET; NBC, CBC, TVA Sports).

"The only pressure we will have is on ourselves," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "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 (on Wednesday). I thought tonight we played excellent."

Ryan White and Chris VandeVelde scored for the Flyers. Philadelphia's 11 shots on goal were its fewest in any regular season or postseason game.

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm5: White scores off deflection in front

Neuvirth made his first start of the series in Game 4 on Wednesday, with a 2-1 win keeping the Flyers afloat.

"He's always very calm in the net," Flyers forward Jakub Voracek said. "Again, he showed it today. The last two games he's been outstanding and given us the chance to win the game, and here we are going back home when nobody expected it."

Goalie Braden Holtby made nine saves for Washington.

The Capitals challenged Neuvirth early in a scoreless first period and led in shots on goal 14-6 despite four penalties, three called against Justin Williams, including a double-minor for high sticking at 1:08. Jay Beagle had a scoring chance shorthanded but was stopped by Neuvirth. 

"He's made a lot of big, timely saves for us and kept us alive," White said. "We just want to keep fighting here. He's doing a great job of keeping us calm in there."

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm5: Neuvirth denies two chances

Wayne Simmonds had one of the Flyers' best scoring chances during the double-minor, but was stopped by Holtby. 

Philadelphia had two power plays in the second period but did not score and finished the game 0-for-6. 

White scored at 7:52 of the second period shortly after a Williams penalty expired. White's shot deflected off the skate of Capitals defenseman Taylor Chorney to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.

"It's probably pretty rare that you lose a game when you outshoot them 4-1," Capitals forward Daniel Winnik said. "But we've just got to get greasy around the net. I think we just need some more bodies there when the pucks are going there and things should go our way. You saw their goal, off a skate and in. That's what happens in the playoffs."

VandeVelde scored into an empty net with 31 seconds remaining.

Video: PHI@WSH, Gm5: VandeVelde tallies on empty net

Neuvirth made 16 saves in the second, including two on Alex Ovechkin late in the period. The Flyers went 10:19 without a shot on goal and 10:11 without attempting a shot. Shot attempts were 30-8 in Washington's favor.

"They were coming at us pretty hard tonight," Flyers captain Claude Giroux said. "We stayed with it. We played them hard and maybe they had a lot of shots, but we played them hard in front of our net and we tried to do our best in front of [Neuvirth]."

It was the first time in Flyers history they led a postseason game after two periods with as few as eight shots on goal.

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