Another day, another elimination game for the Philadelphia Flyers. This time, it's on the road in the Nation's Capital in Game 5 of this Eastern Conference First Round series against the Washington Capitals.
The Flyers will need to replicate the performance we saw in the first two periods of Wednesday night's Game 4. They controlled possession, peppered Braden Holtby with shots, requiring the Capitals goaltender to come up with big saves often, and most importantly they stayed out of the penalty box.
Can they do the same on the road? Getting favorable matchups at even strength will be hard, but in all honesty despite the two losses early in the series in Washington, the Flyers have still been able to perform well and even beat the Capitals at five-on-five from a puck control perspective. They'll need the same tonight, and Washington will probably get more than one power play as well, so the slight adjustments we noticed on the penalty kill on Wednesday will need to carry over again.
Michal Neuvirth will almost certainly start in goal after his brilliant performance in Game 4, particularly in that third period where he turned aside dangerous chance after dangerous change. He deserves it, and the Flyers will need another solid game from him to stave off elimination tonight.
As for the forward lines, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare returns to the lineup this evening after his one game suspension, reuniting the Untouchables line with Chris VandeVelde and Ryan White. Colin McDonald -- who was certainly noticeable in the win on Wednesday with several hits and several shots on goal -- will move up to the third line alongside Nick Cousins and Matt Read.
Scott Laughton, who suffered that scary injury in a collision with the boards in Game 4, is out of the lineup and did not travel with the team despite tests being negative and his release from the hospital yesterday morning. So McDonald essentially replaces Laughton in tonight's lineup, which works since he was double-shifted at times following the injury on Wednesday.
There are no changes to Washington's lineup from Game 4, as far as we can tell.
Do or die again, everybody. Bring it back for another home game on Sunday, Flyers.
|2016 Eastern Conference Round 1 :: Game 5|
|Friday, April 22, 2016 :: 7 p.m. ET|
|Verizon Center :: Washington, District of Columbia, USA|
|Get the Washington perspective at Japers' Rink|
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