Flyers-Capitals: Game 5 Postgame Perspective

Neuvirth leads Flyers back to Philly

44-11. If someone told you that would be the final shot total, in favor of the Washington Capitals, you would probably think the final score resembled that of Game 3.

Unless you're Michal Neuvirth, who made 44 saves in a tremendous shutout performance to give the Flyers the win and force a Game 6 on Sunday in Philadelphia.

Neuvirth was the centerpiece of the win, stunning Alex Ovechkin, John Carlson and company. Frustration was starting to mount for the Capitals, who are starting to look back on past seasons of missed chances.

The Flyers, meanwhile, are starting to channel the 2010 team.

This is the thing about a Game 6: all bets are off. It's a little bit like a Game 7 without the winner-take-all nature. One team has a chance to move on the other has a chance to be eliminated. 

But when Game 4 or Game 5 is an elimination game already, there could be doubt in overcoming such a deficit. That can ultimately be what dooms a team before a Game 4 even starts.

This is the overall belief the Flyers have carried all season. They have been a team that goes game-by-game, day-by-day. That mentality has allowed them to look adversity square on and tackle it.

Give other parts of the team some credit as well. It may have been Neuvirth's show, but the Flyers penalty killers withstood three Washington power plays. The second power-play unit tallied a goal just after a penalty expired. The game-winning goal by Ryan White was as greasy as it gets, a turnaround shot that hit Taylor Chorney's skate and slid helplessly past Braden Holtby.

11 shots are the fewest in franchise history for the Flyers in any game — regular season or playoffs — but getting just one of those past Holtby was enough.

The fourth line was instrumental in the final play. The Flyers most consistent line of the series put together a tremendous shift in the final minute and picked up an insurance goal into an empty net by Chris VandeVelde to officially send the series back to Philadelphia for a Game 6.

It may have been a one-man show and about as lopsided a game as you will find, but much like the Capitals, who grabbed two third-period goals and a fluke second-period goal in Game 2, the Flyers took what was given and stole a game that was not nearly as well played as it could have been.

They owe Neuvirth for their new life in the series with wins in back-to-back games, the first time all season that Holtby and the Capitals have lost two straight games in regulation. But the Capitals will again be gunning for them in Game 6. They will have to withstand the charge again.

Only this time, they will have the Philly crowd on their side. They have Neuvirth to thank for that.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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