WASHINGTON - Somehow, someway this series is coming back to Philadelphia.
The Flyers were outshot 44-11 and went 0 for 6 on the power play but had the game's winning goal kicked in by the opponent to improbably beat the Capitals, 2-0, in Game 5 Friday night and cut the deficit of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series to 3-2.
Michal Neuvirth was unconscious and the single reason the Flyers remain breathing, as he stopped all 44 shots faced while the Capitals dominated possession.
Chris VandeVelde scored an empty-netter with 31 seconds left to end it.
After two periods, the Flyers were outshot 30-8 but incomprehensibly held a 1-0 lead. They also went 16:50, a span from the second period into the third, without a shot on goal.
The Flyers improved to 34-35 in elimination games, while the Capitals dropped to 14-31 in games in which they can eliminate an opponent. In fact, Washington is 1-8 in the last nine such games dating back to 2012-13.
The Flyers are 1-7 all-time when falling behind 3-0 in a best-of-seven playoff series. The only comeback came in the 2010 Eastern Conference semifinals when the Flyers overcame the Bruins in seven games. It's one of only four times it's happened in NHL history.
The Flyers got some help.
Right as a second-period power play ended, Sam Gagner whipped a shot into a jumble of bodies. The puck died, Ryan White found it and unintentionally knocked it off Capitals defenseman Taylor Chorney's skate and into the net.
Washington goalie Braden Holtby never saw it and the Flyers took the only lead 7:52 into the middle stanza despite not registering a shot on that man advantage.
White was credited with the goal and the Capitals outshot the Flyers 16-2 in the second.
Neuvirth was everything and then some.
Not long after the Flyers' second-period goal to take a 1-0 lead, he made nine saves in a span of 5:22, including five in a minute and a half.
The Capitals never stopped coming but he never wilted, denying 30 shots in the first two periods alone.
Holtby made just nine saves on 10 shots.
With the opening fight (see below) and a Justin Williams (double minor) high-sticking penalty, the Flyers went on a four-minute power play 1:08 into the game.
It was a disaster.
The Flyers had difficulty just getting set while Washington had multiple clears to milk time.
The Flyers finished 0 for 6 but scored their goal right as one power play expired.
They're now are 1 for 21 in the series and four for their last 38, including the regular season.
The Capitals went 0 for 3 and are without a power-play goal in two straight games.
The Flyers put Washington on the power play just three times after allowing just two in Game 4. The Capitals had nine opportunities in Game 3.
The Capitals' penalty kill dominated the Flyers but it didn't matter.
Instantly after the puck dropped, Brayden Schenn and T.J. Oshie dropped the gloves.
The fight was clearly prearranged as Schenn boiled the Capitals' blood in Game 4 when he was seen cross-checking Evgeny Kuznetsov in the back of the leg after a play was whistled dead.
Schenn fully obliged Oshie and looked to get the better of the Capitals' forward, landing several heavy punches.
"Obviously they didn't like the play I did in the last game, cross-checking," Schenn said at first intermission. "I didn't like it myself. I feel like I'm an honest player. If they ask me to fight, I'm going to step up and Oshie asked me the right way and I accepted his challenge."
Alex Ovechkin continued to make his presence felt in the hit department.
Just in the first period, he nailed White in front of the Flyers' bench. Less than four minutes later, he put one on Schenn, this time in front of the Capitals' bench.
He matched the Flyers' first-period hit total with five and finished with eight.
The Capitals outhit the Flyers, 35-17.
For the Flyers:
Healthy: Forwards R.J. Umberger, Jordan Weal, Cole Bardreau, Chris Conner and Taylor Leier, defensemen Evgeny Medvedev, Mark Alt, Davis Drewiske, Robert Hagg and Samuel Morin, and goaltender Anthony Stolarz.
Injured: Forwards Sean Couturier (upper body) and Scott Laughton (unspecified).
For the Capitals:
Healthy: Forwards Michael Latta and Stanislav Galiev, and defenseman Mike Weber.
Injured: Defenseman Brooks Orpik (upper body).
The series heads back to Philadelphia for Game 6 Sunday (12 p.m./NBC10) at the Wells Fargo Center.