Shayne Gostisbehere Had Capitals' Full Attention in 1st Playoffs

It was almost like a magician revealing his secrets.

Shayne Gostisbehere being the magician and Barry Trotz the onlooker.

After his Capitals sent the Flyers packing for the offseason with a 1-0 Game 6 win on Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center (see story), Trotz talked and talked and talked some more about the Flyers' star foundation piece - and he knew everything.

Washington made it a point to not let Gostisbehere perform any of his tricks.

"On the power play, no one got sucked in by that little move that he has, so I think that was real key," the Capitals' head coach said. "Because it took the puck out of the zone and down the ice."

Trotz expanded. He and the Capitals clearly watched a lot of Gostisbehere before the start of their best-of-seven first-round playoff series against the eighth-seeded Flyers.

"They have so many left D that the things that we noticed with him was everything from the right side to left side," he said. "He's got a great ability, this deceptive little move where he tries to suck you in and then he opens up the lane. He's got a real accurate shot and he gets it off fairly quickly. We wanted to make sure that we took that away for the most part, because we felt that they were going to come at our net and they were looking for screens and what have you, so we did have an emphasis on him."

How about that?

The NHL's top dog circled the freshly-turned 23-year-old rookie on their scouting report. In itself, that should be exciting for the Flyers - their future has already opened the eyes of the league's best.

In his first NHL postseason, Gostisbehere - like the rest of the Flyers - was neutralized. He scored the team's one and only power-play goal in 24 opportunities (see story), while finishing with two points.

From the onset, Washington crowded Gostisbehere, rarely allowing the elusive defenseman to feel comfortable operating with the puck, especially at the point of the power play, where he made his biggest splash of the season.

"They're the best team in the regular season for a reason," Gostisbehere said. "They're a good, well-rounded team. Their special teams are very good, their PK, they've got it figured out - they shut us down a little bit per se.

"You can't base it all on that, we've could have done a lot of things differently."

The Capitals' penalty kill, ranked tied for second in the NHL during the regular season, had its way with the Flyers and has now successfully killed 78 of its last 86 (91 percent) power plays faced, dating back to the regular season.

According to Trotz, much of it came down to zoning in on Gostisbehere. Among rookies at regular season's end, Gostisbehere was tied for the NHL lead in power-play goals (8) and second in assists (14) despite not joining the Flyers until Nov. 14 and playing only 64 games.

Trotz and Washington noticed.

"He's a pretty dynamic player and he can obviously jump up and join the play, but in the zone, we thought offensively that he was really the key," Trotz said. "He was the guy getting pucks through and creating offense and creating zone time for them, so we did spend a little more time and watched him a little more closer, for sure."

The Flyers have not won a playoff series since 2011-12. Gostisbehere gives the organization hope it won't be much longer until that changes.

"I think it gives everyone a taste of what the playoffs are like and how this building is in playoffs, and how much fun it is," Brayden Schenn. "We're still a young team, we've still got a lot to prove and it was good for us to squeak into the playoffs and get a taste of it."

Gostisbehere had Trotz watching - and likely will down the road.

"They've got a great future," Trotz said. "Got some young stars, some quality veterans."

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