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Caps vs. Panthers Recap: Florida Wins a Wild One in a Shootout 6-5

The Washington Capitals fell to the Florida Panthers in a shootout 6-5 on Friday night in a game that saw two goalie changes and several lead swings.

Florida Panthers v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

How would you feel about eleven goals, a 4-round shootout, and Evgeny Kuznetsov receiving an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for bad-mouthing a referee?

Here’s Friday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: One standings point and five goals for the good guys.

Minus: Giving up six goals and making the aforementioned effort a losing one.

And now, this...

Ten more notes on the game:

1. Friday marked the third and final game of the Capitals’ home stand at Capital One Arena. After dropping last Saturday’s contest to the Toronto Maple Leafs 4-2 but roaring back to beat their Metropolitan Division rival the New York Rangers 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday, could the brave lads in red muster enough gusto to fluster the Panthers and thrust themselves to victory in the rubber match?

2. Joining the Caps onto the ice was Dmitrij Jaskin, Man Who Does Not Care If Your Spell Check Works. Back at left wing on the fourth line, a spot kept warm primarily by Aussie wunderoo Nathan Walker, the ex-Blues forward would get another shot to claim the starting job against Florida. Would he carpe the occasio?

3. The Panthers drew first blood, as big cats are wont to do. Vincent Trocheck pinballed a puck off of Lars Eller’s shin that tumbled gently over the goal line to make it 1-0 Florida early.

4. Lars got his redemption almost immediately. Streaking down the right wing, The Lartian cut towards the back of the net, but sneakily slung the puck towards the slot before doing so, finding John Carlson on the doorstep to knot the game 1-1.

5. But the rest of the first period was all Florida, like mismanaged elections or geriatric swingers communities. Evgenii Dadonov one-timed home a missile from the slot to make it 2-1, and Colton Sceviour found himself a perplexing uncleared puck outside the crease to make it 3-1. Finally, Jared McCann added one more for good measure, and it was 4-1 Cats after twenty minutes. Pheonix Copley would lead the Capitals back into the ice in the second period.

6. If the first frame was all Florida, the second period belonged to Washington. Jakub Vrana got things cooking right away, spying Brett Connolly alone in the low circle and slinging a perfect assist to him. The Con Man rifled it home and it was 4-2.

7. Jakub Vrana was all over the place on Friday night, and he one-timed home an absolute dagger to make it 4-3! Vrana celebrated with his best impersonation of the Ovi Leap.

8. AND THEN DEVANTE SNIPE-CELLY TIED IT UP FOR WASHINGTON, cashing in his own rebound to tie it 4-4 and sending goalie James Reimer to the showers early! Michael Hutchinson stepped in between the pipes, and Jonathan Huberdeau would get one back for Florida, staking this game at 5-4 heading into the final frame.

9. The last eighteen and a half minutes of the game ticked away agonizingly, but with just 85 seconds remaining and six forwards on the ice for the Capitals, Nicklas Backstrom delivered Washington on the blade of his quick stick, tapping home the tying goal and sending this one to ooooooverrrrtimeeeeeee!

10. The final stanza came and went, and in a 4-round shootout, Florida got the better of Pheonix Copley, and the Capitals went home single-point losers.

Well, then. Not every day you see 11 goals, two goalies pulled, multiple 5-on-3s, and a little sudden sudden death!

Next up is the Canucks in Vancouver on Monday.

Game highlights: