In 2014, Michal Neuvirth was traded from Washington to Buffalo because the Capitals thought Braden Holtby was their goalie of the future.

Two years later, the unflappable Neuvirth is punishing his former team.

Since being inserted into the lineup with the Flyers trailing by three games to none, Neuvirth is 2-0 with a 0.50 goals-against average and a ridiculous .987 save percentage, carrying the Flyers back into the playoff series.

"He gave us life," captain Claude Giroux said.

The Capitals have a 3-2 edge and can wrap up the series with a win in Sunday's matchup at the Wells Fargo Center at noon.

Neuvirth, 28, who has stopped 75 of 76 shots in the series, spent parts of six seasons with the Caps, but claims he has no extra incentive to beat them.

"It's still the NHL playoffs, and I would be motivated if we were playing someone else," he said.

The Czech Republic native made 44 saves, some that were acrobatic, in the Flyers' 2-0 win Friday.

"I was seeing the puck well, and every bounce was going my way, so it was one of the games that it was a really good game," he said. "It just wasn't me, though. It was the whole team, and we battled hard and it was a big win."

"He was really a calming influence," general manager Ron Hextall said. "We didn't start to panic, and in the past we have - and I think Neuvy had something to do with that [calmness]."

In his postseason career in the NHL, AHL, and OHL, Neuvirth has a 57-21 record, including a 2.00 GAA and a .930 save percentage in 12 Stanley Cup playoff games.

"I just like playing in the playoffs and like playing under pressure," said Neuvirth, who helped the AHL's Hershey Bears win Calder Cups in 2009 and 2010. "I know I could play good in the playoffs and just playing with confidence and belief in myself and trust what I do."

Winger Wayne Simmonds said he expected the Caps to try to get physical with Neuvirth in an attempt to throw him off his game Sunday.

"But that's what we're there for," he said. "We need to be there and box out the best we can and stop guys from getting to the crease."


Giroux claims he is healthy, but he doesn't look it. He has just one point and, uncharacteristically, has lost the majority of his faceoffs in the last four games. . . . Scott Laughton, out with a suspected neck injury, will skate Monday, and it is unknown whether he could play Wednesday if Game 7 is played, Hextall said. . . . Sean Couturier skated for the first time since suffering a shoulder injury in Game 1, but, according to Hextall, he will not be able to return in this series.