June 23, 2017

Washington Capitals First Round Game 4: Caps flat in Philadelphia; Flyers force Game 5

GAME FIVE SET FOR FRIDAY AT 7 P.M. IN WASHINGTON

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

With a 3-0 series lead in hand for the first time in franchise history, and riding high after a dominant win in Game 3, the Washington Capitals came out flat again in the opening stages of a game in this best-of-seven series.

Giving up the game’s first goal for the second game in a row, Washington looked very out of sorts throughout the first two frames; a T.J. Oshie tally with 17:22 left was not enough as the Capitals fell to the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 on Wednesday night.

Shayne Gostisbehere’s goal 5:51 into the game might not have been unexpected for a team desperate to stave off elimination in their own building. The Capitals ceded their first two-goal deficit of the series 3:51 into the second when Andrew MacDonald scored his first of the playoffs.

Washington pressed throughout the final 20 minutes and had the better run of play, and Oshie scored less than three minutes into the period. Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth, formerly of Capitals fame, made 12 saves in the third on 13 shots, and stopped 31 of 32 overall to send the series back to Washington on Friday.

Washington led in shots 13-4 over the final frame, and had a comfortable 75-47 advantage in shot attempts. However, with 28 of their attempts getting blocked on the way to the net, Neuvirth could have seen even more of the already-heavy action that he did.

Tom Wilson took a heavy hit from Brandon Manning with two minutes left and headed down the tunnel to the locker room.

Braden Holtby made 23 saves. He has registered a 1.00 goals-against average and a .966 save percentage in four games against the Flyers this series.

With the loss, the Capitals move to 4-16 in “win-and-advance” playoff games since 2008.

About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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