Flyers avoid sweep by Capitals with 2-1 victory

Flyers avoid sweep by Capitals with 2-1 victory
Philadelphia Flyers' Chris VandeVelde, right, checks Washington Capitals' Nicklas Backstrom during the third period of Game 4 in the first round of the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs on Wednesday. (Matt Slocum / AP)

Michal Neuvirth stopped 31 shots in his first start of the playoff series, helping the Philadelphia Flyers stave off a sweep with a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night at Philadelphia

The Capitals still lead the series, three games to one, headed into Game 5 Friday night in Washington.


Shayne Gostisbehere and Andrew MacDonald each scored for the Flyers, and Neuvirth was sensational in the third after T.J. Oshie scored early in the period to make it 2-1.

The Capitals still have never swept a best-of-seven playoff series.

The game was marred by a scary hit that saw Flyers center Scott Laughton leave on a stretcher.

Washington defenseman John Carlson tangled with Laughton behind the Capitals' net late in the first period. Laughton stumbled and his head slammed into the back boards. He went down in a heap face-first and was immobile for several minutes.

Laughton was talking to medical personal as they strapped him on the board. The Flyers said he was taken to Jefferson Hospital for precautionary reasons

Florida 2, at New York Islanders 1: Alex Petrovic scored the tiebreaking goal midway through the third period and the Panthers evened their first-round playoff series at two games apiece.

Teddy Purcell also scored for Florida and Jaromir Jagr had an assist for his 200th career playoff point. Roberto Luongo stopped 26 shots.

John Tavares had his third goal of the series for New York, and Thomas Greiss finished with 27 saves.

The Panthers got their first playoff road win since April 17, 2012, against New Jersey in Game 3 of the first round.

Dallas 3, at Minnesota 2: Jason Spezza scored the go-ahead goal with his skate, Ales Hemsky and Patrick Eaves each scored on a second-period power play to give Dallas' lagging special teams a lift, and the Stars pushed their series lead to 3-1.

Antti Niemi assumed goalie duties from Kari Lehtonen, who started the first three games, and made 28 saves for the Stars.

The Wild finished the game with a 6-on-4 edge, but the Stars gave up only one shot on target over the 84-second two-man advantage.