Cracking the Neuvirth Code

jay-beagle-washington-capitals-philadelphia-flyersGeoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Despite the Capitals dominating the Flyers in every possible way during Game 5, the Flyers managed a 2-0 Game 5 shut out over the Capitals last night at Verizon Center. The Flyers win, nothing short of a miracle considering that the Caps held them to a paltry 11 total shots on goal and only 27 total attempts, could only be attributed to two things: a lucky goal by Ryan White, scored from an extremely fortunate Flyers favored bounce off Taylor Chorney’s boot and an uber hot goalie Michal Neuvirth.

“Obviously we controlled the flow of the game” said coach Barry Trotz. “We played well and we probably deserved a better fate in the end.” The shots on goal is a great indicator of just how dominant the Caps were during game 5 and you can see that the Flyers were severely limited in shots and shot opportunities.

SOGs

In fact, the Flyers are the first team to win a playoff game with a shot total that low since the Capitals did it in 1998. But, as coach Barry Trotz said, “there’s only one stat that matters at the end of the night and that’s the one that’s up on the score board.”

The Flyers can thank their goaltender, Michal Neuvirth for their victory. Neuvirth was able to stave off the onslaught of nearly 90 shot attempts from the Capitals. He was a very busy goalie indeed but unfortunately, the Capitals just couldn’t slip one past to light the lamp. “That’s a great game by him [Neuvirth] from start to finish”, Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol said. “He did his job and he made some huge saves for us.” Team captain, Alex Ovechkin who was scoreless despite eight shots to the net said that the Capitals, “had solid chances but we need to put more bodies in front of the net.”

One of Neuvy’s key saves included this first period attempt by Jay Beagle.

He also shut down Alex Ovechkin…eight times… 

To combat Neuvirth the Capitals recognize that they must get to the net. “You’ve got to get traffic and you’ve got to get second and third opportunities” said T.J. Oshie. The Capitals must now take game six back to Philadelphia for a noon showdown with the Flyers on Sunday. “We’ve got to go into Philadelphia and play really well and get a win there,” said Trotz. “And if we don’t accomplish that then we will go to game seven. I thought tonight we played excellent and if you keep playing that way and it will turn.”

Stephanie Judge

About Stephanie Judge

C-A-P-S Caps Caps Caps!! A lover of all things Capitals (especially T.J. Oshie) Stephanie is an avid fan follow her on Twitter @stpjudge for her latest hockey adventures.
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