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Holtby smothers Flyers, Capitals take 2-0 series lead

Braden Holtby stopped 41 of 42 shots and the Capitals earned a convincing Game 2 win over the Flyers.

Goaltending was, at times, the difference for the Flyers and Capitals in Game 2. That’s not meant as a jab at Steve Mason, either.

Braden Holtby was just that good on Saturday, turning in a performance that was arguably more impressive than his Game 1 shutout as Washington beat Philadelphia 4-1.

The Flyers hammered 19 shots on goal in the first period alone as Holtby was tested early and often. Philly was only able to best the likely 2016 Vezina winner once, and it was thanks to a deceptive move by Jakub Voracek.

The Capitals already scored twice (including a goal that will probably haunt Mason for the rest of his career) by the time Voracek generated Philly’s first goal of this postseason, and that’s apparently all Washington would need. Really, it was a rare performance from Holby by many measures.

Again, Mason made plenty of impressive saves ...

... Yet that goal may live on for some time.

Alex Ovechkin found the net for the first time in the 2016 postseason. He also delivered another big hit or five.

The Capitals managed to hold serve at home to go up 2-0. The Flyers have shown flashes of brilliance, yet they find their backs against the wall once more.

This time it’s happening against the Presidents’ Trophy-winning team and its all-world goalie, so this may stand as an even tougher challenge for the Flyers.

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