April 24, 2016 / 7:34 PM / 3 years ago

Capitals beat Flyers in Game Six to win series 4-2

(The Sports Xchange) - A goal by Swedish center Nicklas Backstrom proved the difference as the Washington Capitals beat the Philadelphia Flyers 1-0 in Game Six on Sunday to clinch the series.

Apr 24, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; The Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers shake hands after game six of the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Washington goalie Braden Holtby stopped all 26 shots the Flyers threw his way, including 11 in the third period, and the Capitals escaped Wells Fargo Center with a 4-2 series win after finally getting a puck past Philadelphia goalie Michal Neuvirth.

Washington moves on to the second round, where the Pittsburgh Penguins await.

The Capitals finally solved Neuvirth 8:59 into the second period.

Alex Ovechkin made a strong play to keep the puck in the offensive zone. The Capitals captain moved the puck to the slot to Marcus Johansson as Backstrom camped out and readied a one-timer on the right wing. Johansson wasted no time and fed Backstrom for a 1-0 Washington lead, which proved to be the game-winning goal.

After losing Game Five, the pressure was back on the Capitals, the league’s best team in the regular season. They have a recent history of playoff failure, having not reached the conference final despite being a top-three seed three times since 2007-08.

“We’ve come a long way from last year,” second-year coach Barry Trotz said.

“When I first stepped behind the bench, I felt there was a little bit of nervousness in tight games. I think we’ve come full-circle where we’re comfortable being uncomfortable.”

Holtby was at his best in the third period. The 26-year-old goalie — and likely Vezina Trophy winner — stopped chances from Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds midway through the period and stood tall when the Flyers pulled Neuvirth for an extra attacker with 1:38 to go.

“We knew they were going to have a good push,” Trotz said. “When you get goaltending like that, you’ve got a chance to win every night.”

Backstrom’s goal broke a shutout streak of 106:21 for Neuvirth, who had stopped 93 of 94 shots prior to that after being inserted into the lineup for Steve Mason after Game Three.

“Nick made a pretty perfect shot and we knew it was going to have to take a perfect shot to beat (Neuvirth),” Holtby said. “That was the goal we needed.”

Added Ovechkin: “We just were calm and knew that if we put pressure (on) and play simple and play our way, we’re going to get one or two.

“We made a play and (Backstrom) scored a huge one. It kind of took the pressure off our shoulders.”

The Flyers scored just six goals in the six-game series, the fewest the Capitals have ever allowed in a best-of-seven series.

Editing by Andrew Both

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