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Capitals unable to solve Neuvirth in Game 5 loss to Flyers

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Capitals unable to solve Neuvirth in Game 5 loss to Flyers

The Capitals completely dominated the Flyers in every imaginable category, but were victimized by former teammate Michal Neuvirth, who turned aside all 44 shots he faced in the Flyers’ 1-0 victory Friday night in front of a loud but panic-stricken sellout crowd at Verizon Center.

The Capitals, who raced out to a three games to none lead in the series, have now lost back-to-back games in regulation for the first time all season and have seen their series lead dwindle to 3-2.

Game 6 is slated for Sunday in Philadelphia, with a time expected to be determined on Saturday.

The Capitals are now 1-8 in their last nine attempts to close out a playoff series, dating back to 2013. 

How it happened: The Capitals dominated every facet of the game – except the scoresheet – as Neuvirth erected a wall in front of the visitors’ net. Traded by the Capitals prior to the 2014 trade deadline, Neuvirth kept the Flyers in the game with 30 saves in the opening two periods, including five on Alex Ovechkin. The Flyers got the only goal they needed when Ryan White banked a shot off the skate of Caps defenseman Taylor Chorney and behind Braden Holtby (9 saves on 10 shots) with 7:52 gone in the second period. White’s goal, which came off a Sam Gagner point shot rebound, came 3 seconds after a high-sticking penalty to Justin Williams expired.   

Free Willy: Justin Williams somehow managed to spend eight minutes in the penalty box without taking anyone off the ice with him. Williams was hit with a four-minute high sticking penalty for nicking up defenseman Nick Schultz 68 seconds into the game, two more for interfering with Neuvirth 14 minutes later and two more for high sticking Claude Giroux 5:49 in the second period. Williams was out of the box only 3 seconds when Ryan White scored to give the Flyers a 1-0 lead.  

Schennanigans: Brayden Schenn skated into Game 5 as a marked man following his two-handed chop to the back of Evgeny Kuznetsov’s right knee in Game 4 and Caps right wing T.J. Oshie wasted no time settling the score. Just 10 seconds after the opening faceoff T.J. Oshie and Schenn agreed to square off. Schenn appeared to connect a few more times in a spirted middleweight bout that both teams applauded with stick taps.

Schenn played like he was shot out of a cannon on nearly every shift, drilling Alex Ovechkin from behind and checking Jay Beagle into the boards.

Ovechkin was equally physical, throwing seven hits in the opening two periods, many of them on Schenn. 

What’s next: The Capitals are expected to practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Saturday, then travel to Philadelphia for Game 6 on Sunday. The game could be scheduled for a 3 p.m. start time to accommodate NBC.

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Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

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USA TODAY Sports

Game 62: Capitals vs. Sabres Date, Time, How to Watch, Game Thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Buffalo Sabres

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

How to Watch: Capitals-Sabres will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Sabres game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals (34-20-7) take on the Sabres (18-32-11) Saturday, February 24 at 7:00 p.m. ET in Capital One Arena.

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME ON?

The Capitals-Sabres game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. Coverage kicks off with Capitals FaceOff at 6:00 p.m. followed by Caps GameTime at 6:30 p.m. Stay with NBC Sports Washington for Caps Extra following the game, Caps Overtime at 10:00 p.m. and Caps in 30 at 11:00 p.m. for all your postgame coverage. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

6:00 p.m. — Caps FaceOff
6:30 p.m. — Caps GameTime
7:00 p.m. — Capitals vs. Sabres
9:30 p.m. — Caps Extra
10:00 p.m. — Caps Overtime
11:00 p.m. — Caps in 30

WHAT ARE THE PROJECTED LINES FOR THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

Here are the projected lines for the Caps-Sabres game:

Forwards
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly

Defensemen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Michal Kempny - Brooks Orpik

Braden Holtby starts with Philipp Grubauer as backup

Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey, Jakub Jerabek

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-SABRES GAME?

The Capitals-Panthers game, as well as Caps GameTime and Caps Extra, is available to stream live here through NBC Sports Washington's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports Washington subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-SABRES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals correspondent JJ Regan and the NBC Sports Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and NBC Sports Washington's Facebook page.

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Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

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NBC Sports Washington

Capitals Extra Podcast: Trade deadline story time with Alan May

Alan May knows a thing or two about the trade deadline.

Over the course of his NHL career, May was traded five total times, four at the trade deadline. He sits down with Rob Carlin on a special edition of the Capitals Extra Podcast to tell stories from his playing days about what it was like getting traded.

This one's a can't miss for hockey fans. You can listen to the episode here on the Capitals Extra page or with the player below.