After putting up 44 shots during Friday night’s game five with nothing going through the pipes, the Caps put up 29 shots during game six and Nicklas Backstrom’s shot was finally the one that broke through to give Washington the eventual 1-0 win! And most importantly, keeps the Capitals on the ice and advancing to Round Two where they’ll face off against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The Caps starting lines for Game 6:
Graphic provided by @WashCaps
Brooks Orpik traveled with the team to Philadelphia. He didn’t play this afternoon as he is still recovering from a Game 3 upper body injury. Orpik hasn’t skated all week but has been working out.
There was a line change when the game started. Johnansson was moved to the second line while Burakovsky was switched to the third line.
The goaltending matchup once again featured Braden Holtby and Michael Neuvirth. Neuvirth, a former Caps netminder, made his third consecutive start after replacing main goaltender Steve Mason. Mason struggled early on in the series by allowing 12 goals in his three starts. Neuvirth is the reason the Capitals are playing a game six, as he showed stellar performance in game five.
The Caps put up 44 shots in game five, outshooting the Flyers nearly 4:1 and none of them got past Flyers goaltender Michael Neuvirth. In the first period of game six, the Caps outshot the Flyers 12-5, however the stat that counts the most showed 0-0. The second period was rather eventful as the officials made the incorrect call that gave Philadelphia their first power play of the game. The Caps finally got on the scoreboard with a goal by Nicklas Backstrom. In the third, Holtby held true to his HoltBeast nickname and defended the net during a furious Flyers rally by not allowing any pucks to hit the net. Holtby stopped all 26 Flyers shots in the game. And the Caps were victorious, with the final score of 1-0.
The Caps came out firing early on, relentlessly attempting to get the biscuit past Neuvirth. The Flyers defense was tremendous and they made it physical early on. Burakovsky got hit by Andrew McDonald and left the game for a brief period of time but returned to action with over seven minutes remaining in the opening period. The Caps went to the power play first as Claude Giroux was called for hooking T.J. Oshie at 13:18 of the first. They couldn’t convert. The Caps got another golden opportunity with the man advantage at 18:13 in the period. Flyers Assistant Captain, Wanye Simmonds was called for slashing Karl Alzner. The Caps picked up another man advantage and got awarded a 5-3 as McDonald got called for high-sticking Marcus Johansson at 19:03. Despite the early man advantages, the Caps were not successful at lighting the lamp.
Tom Wilson also had a beautiful and clean hit on Pierre Edouard-Bellemare as shown in the video clip below.
The second period started with the Caps continuing on with the two man advantage with 13 seconds of 5-on-3 and then 51 seconds of 5-on-4. Unable to convert on the powerplay, the Caps are 0-3 on the power play at this point in the second period. The Flyers got their first power play of the game when Nicklas Backstrom took a double minor for high sticking Ryan White at 4:25 – where it wasn’t even Nicky’s stick that caught White in the face – it was White’s own teammate, as the video below clearly illustrates.
Just five seconds into the PK, Matt Niskanen was also incorrectly called for hooking, giving Philadelphia a 5-on-3 edge for 1:55.
The Flyers two man advantage was short lived as White was called for holding the stick. It shifted to 4-on-4 for 1:30 and then the Caps had the power play for 30 seconds. No score for either team on the power play.
And then what we’ve all been anxiously awaiting! The Caps finally got a puck past Neuvirth after some quality puck movement down the ice. Alex Ovechkin came down the ice, found Johansson near the middle who dished it over to Backstrom who fired it into the back of the net, putting Washington up front 1-0.
— #RockTheRed (@washcaps) April 24, 2016
Sam Gagner took an offensive zone hooking minor at 1:23 to begin the third. The Caps couldn’t convert on their fifth power play opportunity of the afternoon. The Flyers put their best effort on the ice as they consistently pressured Braden Holtby throughout the period, playing exceptionally well desperate hockey as the seconds of their season were winding down. Neuvirth headed to the bench with 1:33 left for the empty net. Holtby held off a furious Flyers pressure to hang on for the 1-0 victory. And the Capitals now advance onto Round Two and will take on another divisional rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
— #RockTheRed (@washcaps) April 25, 2016
— #RockTheRed (@washcaps) April 25, 2016
By Michael Marzzacco