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Round 1, Gm 1: Flyers at Capitals

playoffs

Capitals defense steps up in win against Flyers

Washington clamps down in final two periods; has 23 blocks in game against Philadelphia

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals were trying to find their game early in the second period Thursday when the Philadelphia Flyers pressured them in their end and threw pucks toward the net.

None of them got through to goaltender Braden Holtby; Nicklas Backstrom blocked two shots during one sequence of sustained Flyers pressure and Evgeny Kuznetsov and Dmitry Orlov blocked consecutive shots from Shayne Gostisbehere during another.

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game recap

Holtby shutout lifts Capitals past Flyers in Game 1

Goalie makes 19 saves; Carlson, Beagle score for Washington

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Braden Holtby made 19 saves when the Washington Capitals shut out the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center on Thursday.

Although Holtby didn't see a lot of work after the first period -- he faced eight shots in the final two -- he said he didn't have trouble concentrating on the rest of the game.

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playoffs

Instant analysis: Flyers vs. Capitals, Game 1

Not much opportunity 5-on-5; Philadelphia will miss injured Couturier

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 2-0 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference First Round at Verizon Center on Thursday.

In a battle of special teams, the Capitals went ahead on defenseman John Carlson's power-play goal with 3:39 left in the second period. Jay Beagle scored on a 3-on-2 with 3:24 remaining in the third. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 19 saves for his third postseason shutout.

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injury

Couturier leaves Game 1 with injury

Status of Flyers forward uncertain heading into Game 2

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

Couturier leaves with injury

PHI@WSH, Gm1: Couturier exits game with injury on hit

R1, Gm1: Sean Couturier is shaken up after a hit from Alex Ovechkin, forcing him from the game in the 2nd period

  • 00:23 •

WASHINGTON -- The Philadelphia Flyers might have to figure out how to defeat the Washington Capitals without their best defensive center after losing Sean Couturier to an apparent left shoulder injury in a 2-0 loss in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference First Round series at Verizon Center on Thursday.

Couturier was injured on a neutral-zone hit from Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin that drove his left arm into the boards 11:13 into the second period. Couturier held his arm to his side without moving it much as he skated off and exited to the locker room. He did not return.

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playoffs

Five keys for Flyers vs. Capitals Game 1

Ability to shift into playoff mode pivotal factor

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers begin their Eastern Conference First Round series at Verizon Center on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSN, CBC, TVA Sports, CSN-DC, CSN-PH). Here are five keys for Game 1:

1. Flipping the switch: The Capitals didn't have much to play for after clinching the Presidents' Trophy on March 28, and it showed in their play when they won two of their final seven regular-season games (2-2-3). A 5-1 road win against the St. Louis Blues on Saturday demonstrated what they can do when they play with urgency, though.

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playoffs

Capitals facing pressure in Cup pursuit

Presidents' Trophy winners trying to put playoff failures behind them

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- The Washington Capitals know what you're thinking.

Sure, they set a franchise record with 56 wins and cruised to the Presidents' Trophy with 120 points, but they've been down this road before and it didn't end well. So, though they say this team is different from those that have fallen short before it, they know you won't believe them unless they're the ones lifting the Stanley Cup two months from now.

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game preview

Flyers primed for Capitals in Game 1

Hakstol: 'We're not going to rest on just getting in'

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

Game 1: FLYERS at CAPITALS

Eastern Conference First Round

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

WASHINGTON -- The Philadelphia Flyers may have snuck into the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference on the last weekend of the regular season, but don't call them underdogs against the Washington Capitals.

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playoffs

Williams wants to be 'cog in wheel' for Capitals

But 'Mr. Game 7' was brought in for playoff performance

by Tom Gulitti @tomgulittinhl / NHL.com Staff Writer

ARLINGTON, Va. -- In Justin Williams' home office is a replica of the Conn Smythe Trophy. The most valuable player of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs will glance at it "every now and then."

"But that's past," he said this week. "That's looking-back stuff."

Williams, 34, has little interest in looking back at his past as a three-time Stanley Cup winner and even less in talking about himself as the missing piece: "Mr. Game 7," or, as Washington Capitals teammate Karl Alzner called him Sunday, "Mr. Perfect."

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