The Panthers eliminate the Capitals

(Washington) Carter Verhaeghe ended the debate in overtime and the Florida Panthers eliminated the Washington Capitals in a 4-3 win on Friday night.

Posted at 11:11 p.m

In the third minute of overtime, Claude Giroux grabbed the puck from behind the net and spun around before catching Verhaeghe in front of goalkeeper Ilya Samsonov. Verhaeghe unleashed a backhand shot that made the red light flicker.

It was Verhaeghe’s second extra-time goal of the series. He also played the heroes in the fourth duel, also held in Washington.

“We have confidence,” said Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau. We know we can score goals. They tied the game late in the third period, but that’s hockey. That happened at our last win in Washington, so it was the same. »

The Panthers won that series in six games and advanced to the second round for the first time since 1996.

“We didn’t know what the feeling was,” Huberdeau said. Well, might as well go all the way. »


PHOTO GEOFF BURKE, USA TODAY SPORT

Players from both teams shake hands after the streak endgame.

In the next round, the Panthers meet the Toronto Maple Leafs or the Tampa Bay Lightning, the two-time defending champion of the Stanley Cup.

“There’s going to be some really big challenges,” said Andrew Brunette, interim head coach for the Panthers. It will be a different series. »

Giroux finished the game with a goal and two assists, while Ryan Lomberg and Aleksander Barkov each scored for Florida. Sergei Bobrovsky blocked 34 shots in the win.

Nic Dowd, Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie answered for the Capitals, who were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs for the second straight season. Samsonov gave up four times in 31 shots.

I think you saw our game against the best team of the season. We had the series, but we got away from it. It’s our fault.

Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin

After a scoreless first half but dominated by the Capitals, both teams scored once in the second frame.

Positioned in front of Bobrovsky’s net, Dowd accepted Garnet Hathaway’s pass and sent the puck over the horizontal bar. However, the return fell in front of him and he pushed the disc past the red line.

However, the Panthers fourth line responded less than three minutes later. Eetu Luostarinen passed the puck to Patric Hornqvist, who saw his shot blocked by Samsonov. Lomberg, on the other hand, followed the game well and hit the bull’s eye on the return.

The Capitals took the lead again in the second minute of the third period. Near the rink, Justin Schultz fired a high shot that was deftly deflected by Backstrom. The Swede made sure not to hold his racquet higher than the horizontal bar.

Giroux brought both sides back to first place when he capitalized on Samsonov’s generosity. The Panthers forward came down the right wing, fooling the Russian’s vigilance between the pads.

Less than six minutes into the game, Giroux played well at the net and passed the puck down the other side to Barkov, who threaded the needle for the Florida side.

The Panthers thought they could close the books in regulation, the home side forced a bizarre series of overtime with 63 seconds remaining. Evgeni Kuznetsov fired a wrist shot and the puck whirled through the air. Anthony Mantha smacked her into the horizontal bar in the air before Oshie took it twice to level.

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