After the Flyers were eliminated from their playoff series with the Washington Capitals in a 1-0 loss at the Wells Fargo Center on Sunday, the home crowd saluted them for their effort.
So did the Capitals.
Once leading three games to none in the best-of-seven series, the Capitals saw the Flyers earn two consecutive wins. It was the first time all season that Washington lost consecutive games in regulation.
And on Sunday, the Flyers were fighting until the end, outshooting the Capitals by 11-6 in the final period.
Left winger Alex Ovechkin, the Capitals superstar, had special praise for Flyers goalie Michal Neuvirth, his former teammate, who was inserted as the starter in Game 4 and ended up stopping 103 of 105 shots.
"It was a great effort by them," said Ovechkin, who along with Marcus Johansson assisted on the lone goal Sunday by Nicklas Backstrom. "Obviously, Neuvy was unbelievable, he was the best player, he gave them a chance to win the games."
Ovechkin was as physical as any player in the series, ending up with 28 hits, but he said the Flyers also threw their weight around.
"It was a tough series," said Ovechkin, who had three goals and two assists. "Obviously they have pretty big boys there - lots of hits. . ."
Capitals defenseman Karl Alzner said the Flyers adapted after losing the first three games.
"They are a team that likes to play aggressive and maybe intimidate a little bit and it really didn't work the first few games," Alzner said. "Once they figured that out, they just played the game, they were a good team."
Caps right winger T.J. Oshie played for Flyers coach Dave Hakstol at the University of North Dakota. With his knowledge of Hakstol's coaching ability, Oshie said that even when the Flyers lost the first three games, he expected no signs of surrender.
"I don't think they surprised me too much. I know who they have behind the bench and who they have on the ice and those guys play hard and Hak demands his players to play hard, so you expect that," Oshie said. "I imagine they are going to become pretty good and they made us work for it."
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, like many of his teammates, was impressed with the Flyers' ability to make this a series when a sweep appeared possible after a 6-1 loss at the Wells Fargo Center in Game 3.
"Especially after Game 3, it shows the maturity of that group," Holtby said. "They were kind of embarrassed about [it] . . . There was a lot of pride, they played hard for the rest of the series and it was a tough one for us."
Capitals coach Barry Trotz, whose team won the Presidents' Trophy for the most points in the regular season, summed it up best.
"One thing coming into the series we talked about the Flyers is that they're not going to give up, they've been too resilient all year," Trotz said. "And even though we were up 3-0, you had a sense they were going to bring it all."
"And they did. And that is how they played all year."