Photo is by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images
In one of the most lopsided performances I ever recall seeing in a playoff series, the Flyers steal game 5 in Washington on Friday night, 2-0 at the Verizon Center. Truth be told, Philadelphia likely had no business being in this game as the Capitals threw the kitchen sink and then some at them throughout the game. The Flyers managed to bend without breaking throughout the duration of the game and they were opportunistic to put it mildly. In any event, the Flyers now force a game 6 back in Philadelphia with a chance to even the series after being down 3-0.
The Flyers received goals from Ryan White and Chris Vandevelde in the must win contest. In the playoffs, unlikely heroes are the norm but for Philadelphia, the steady contributions they receive from their fourth line have been the catalyst of so many wins this season. White, Bellemare, and Vandevelde have served as the Flyers tone setters with strong shift after strong shift this season, as they always turn in a dogged, determined effort no matter the opponent. In Ryan White’s case, he’s willed his way onto the Flyers secondary powerplay unit because of his aforementioned work ethic. I understand things like work ethic and determination are abstract and don’t get rewarded on the scoresheet, but the game of hockey has a strange way of righting the wrongs and in some cases, bestow a player with a little luck like Ryan White had tonight.
Michal Neuvirth put a brilliant performance in game 5 as the goaltender shutout the Capitals with 44 saves. This was far and away the best performance from a Flyers goaltender that I have ever seen. Neuvy was making saves from point blank range and from high danger areas on the ice and made it look rather easy while doing so. He was technically sound throughout and deserves the spotlight. He was that damn good tonight.
Here is your game notable:
Brayden Schenn has been the Flyers’ wrecking ball in this series as he undoubtedly set the tone in game 5 with his opening face-off fight with TJ Oshie. Schenn has truly elevated his game here in this series as his consistent physical play has drawn the ire of the Capitals which in turn could get them off their games a bit.
Game 6 will be Sunday at 12:00pm Eastern time.