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Capitals vs. Panthers Recap: Cats Can Claw Back

NHL: Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

A complete third period meltdown gives leaves Washington pointless in a 5 to 4 loss against Florida.

Here’s Tuesday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: The new Connor McMichael, Lars Eller, and Tom Wilson forward line. They combined for two goals and three points.

Minus: The entire third period.

Ten more notes on the game:

  1. From behind the net McMichael put the Capitals ahead early in this one. His second try with the puck bounced off of Sergei Bobrovsky’s left skate and over the goal line.
  2. Just eleven seconds later Washington struck again and this time it was Beck Malenstyn first career NHL goal. A dandy deke from Brett Leason in the slot and an even prettier pass set up the Malenstyn memory.
  3. Joe Thornton would close the gap for Florida less than a minute later. An Aaron Ekblad point shot was stopped by Samsonov but Thornton found the rebound and an easy deposit immediately.
  4. Eller extended the Capitals’ lead to two in the second period. A nifty saucer pass from Wilson at the blue line gave Eller a chance to get around Ekblad and take a successful shot against Bobrosky.
  5. Before the second intermission arrived Nick Jensen tallied his third goal of the year. A pass from Nic Dowd arrived in the slot and Jensen put the puck through traffic and into the twine.
  6. Three minutes into the third period Ryan Lomberg drew the Cats back within two. A Patric Hornqvist pass from the goal line gave Lomberg a wide open net to hit and he did just that.
  7. Peter Laviolette called his timeout shortly thereafter as Washington looked to be in trouble. The thirty second chat did not have the intended effect.
  8. A minute later on the power play Eetu Luostarinen took the puck on a shorthanded breakaway and stuffed it between Samsonov’s legs to liven up FLA Live Arena.
  9. The arena then exploded when Sam Bennett tied the contest at four with eight minutes to play. On their second power play of the final frame an Ekblad shot ricocheted off Bennett to complete the comeback.
  10. And on a third third period power play Sam Reinhart gave Florida the win with a shortside wrist shot that Samsonov should’ve stopped.