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Flyers force Game 6 against Capitals

Sam Gagner, left, skates with the puck past the Capitals’ Andre Burakovsky during a 2-0 win that cuts the Flyers’ series deficit to 3-2.

Philadelphia Daily News/TNS

Sam Gagner, left, skates with the puck past the Capitals’ Andre Burakovsky during a 2-0 win that cuts the Flyers’ series deficit to 3-2.

WASHINGTON — Michal Neuvirth made a playoff-career-high 44 saves and the Flyers beat the Capitals 2-0 in Game 5 on Friday night to one again avoid elimination in their first-round series.

Neuvirth was dominant, carrying the team on his shoulders and blunting the Capitals' every charge to cut Philadelphia's series deficit to 3-2. Game 6 is Sunday in Philadelphia.

Ryan White scored the lone goal for the Flyers against Braden Holtby, with the puck deflecting in off Washington defenseman Taylor Chorney. Chris VandeVelde added an empty-netter late.

Holtby was barely tested in making 10 saves.

The President's Trophy-winning Capitals led the series 3-0 before Neuvirth replaced Steve Mason in goal for Philadelphia. Washington has lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time all season.

The Flyers were outshot 44-11 and are the first team to win a playoff game with 11 shots on goal since the Capitals on May 13, 1998, against Ottawa. Philadelphia had its fewest shots on goal in a playoff game in franchise history.

Neuvirth set team records for saves in a playoff shutout and saves in a regulation playoff win, Elias Sports said.

The Capitals have lost of nine of their past 10 games when trying to clinch a playoff series.

Sidelined by a lower-body injury for three weeks, Neuvirth had played only two games since March 4 before making his Flyers playoff debut in Game 4 on Wednesday, stopping 31 of 32 shots in a 2-1 win against the team that drafted and developed him.

Flyers 0 1 1 2
Capitals 0 0 0 0

First PeriodNone. PenaltiesSchenn, Phi, major (fighting), :10; Oshie, Was, major (fighting), :10; Williams, Was, double minor (high-sticking), 1:08; Gudas, Phi (cross-checking), 5:45; Williams, Was (goaltender interference), 12:05; Schultz, Phi (roughing), 17:33; Chimera, Was (roughing), 17:33.

Second Period1, Philadelphia, White 1 (Gagner, Streit), 7:52. PenaltiesJohansson, Was (roughing), 2:46; Gostisbehere, Phi (holding stick), 3:41; Williams, Was (high-sticking), 5:49.

Third Period2, Philadelphia, VandeVelde 1 (Bellemare), 19:29 (en). PenaltiesChimera, Was (boarding), 6:51; White, Phi (interference), 9:40. Shots on GoalPhiladelphia 6-2-3—11. Washington 14-16-14—44. Power-play opportunitiesPhiladelphia 0 of 6; Washington 0 of 3. GoaliesPhiladelphia, Neuvirth 2-0-0 (44 shots-44 saves). Washington, Holtby 3-2-0 (10-9).

Hawks stay alive: Patrick Kane scored on a backhander early in the second overtime and the Blackhawks avoided elimination with a 4-3 victory over the Blues in Game 5 of their Western Conference series early Friday. The winner was the first goal in the series scored by either of the defending Stanley Cup champions' big stars Kane and Jonathan Toews. The Blackhawks have won three of the past six Cups but also are trying to avoid first-round elimination for the third time in six seasons. Game 6 is tonight in Chicago.

Canadian ratings down: With no Canadian teams in the playoffs, TV ratings have plunged north of the border. Viewership was down by nearly 60 percent through the first week of the postseason compared with last spring, when five Canadian teams were competing. First-round viewership declined from 1.3 million to about 500,000. But Canadian ratings were still outpacing those in the United States, where NBC is averaging about 484,000 viewers. That's up by about 30,000 from last year.

Flyers force Game 6 against Capitals 04/22/16 [Last modified: Friday, April 22, 2016 11:21pm]
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