NHL: Panthers roar in overtime to tie series against Capitals


Carter Verhaeghe scored his second goal of the game in overtime to tie the Panthers in a 3-2 win in Washington in their 2-2 streak against the Capitals.

Sam Reinhart, author of the equalizer with 2:04 to go in the third period, was pleased with how the game turned out.

“It’s the kind of situation you want to be in as a hockey player,” Reinhart said. It could have gone either way. We persevered and are satisfied with the result. »

No team has had more wins from 24 this season than Florida.

“I have faith in them and I know they will produce things,” said interim coach Andew Brunette of his best players. They’ve done it all year, and they continued tonight. »

In the first half, the Capitals took advantage of the Panthers’ indiscipline to get on the scoreboard and level the score at 1-0. TJ Oshie deflected John Carlson’s point shot in front of the net to score his 3rd goal of the series. He opened the scoring on the power play when Sam Bennett was jailed for tripping Dmitry Orlov.

Still in first place, the Panthers then went out in a tie thanks to Carter Verhaeghe’s second goal of the playoffs. The 26-year-old forward used a two-on-one with Aaron Ekblad to find the back of the net and reset the counters.

Midway through the third period, Evgeny Kuznetsov broke the stalemate by passing Sergei Bobrovsky alone, whom he outflanked on the side of the shield to give the hosts a one-goal lead. In the sequence, Sam Bennett was thoroughly checked out by TJ Oshie at the Capitals blue line.

At the end of the 3rd period, the Panthers retired their goaltender and that was to their advantage. Sam Reinhart surprised Ilya Samsonov with a good shot in the heart of the slot to level the game at 2-2 and send the game into overtime with his first goal of the playoffs.

With just five minutes left in overtime, Carter Verhaeghe used a rebound to seal the game. Jonathan Huberdeau seemed to impede Ilya Samsonov in his half-circle, but after the referees’ review, the goal was officially declared.

“We wanted to come in and have our best game of the series, and I think we did a pretty good job,” said Verhaeghe, who played eight games in the 2020 playoff bubble for the Tampa Bay Lightning. We knew we had to reach another level. »

Capitals captain Alexander Ovechkin accepted his team’s fate with calm and composure.

“In the end there were bad rebounds and the goal went in,” said Ovechkin. It’s going to be a tough and long streak so we have to keep going. Forget it and move on. »

Game 5 of the series takes place in Florida on Wednesday night.

“I’m happy to go home 2-2 in this series,” said captain Aleksander Barkov. Keep working. Keep improving. Keep finding ways to win. »

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