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In the most important game to date the Capitals yielded early and often to the Panthers who picked up an easy 6 to 3 victory.
Here’s Thursday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Nicklas Backstrom tallied the third goal of his short season.
Minus: Washington registered just six first period shots - which includes a zero during four man advantage minutes.
More notes on the game:
- Florida got the lead nearly ten minutes into the contest. Gustav Forsling took control of the puck in the offensive zone and ripped home his shot from thirty feet out.
- Lars Eller was a thorn in the side of the Panthers early tonight, running through Carter Verhaeghe (minor penalty) and Sergei Bobrovsky (no penalty) in separate incidents.
- 92 seconds into the second period Marc Staal netted his first goal of the season for Florida. His shot from distance worked its way through several bodies before beating Darcy Kuemper to the right.
- Colin White followed Staal’s goal with one of his own six minutes later. On a breakaway from the blue line White moved the puck to his backhand and raised it up and over Kuemper’s outstretched arm.
- Dylan Strome then got Washington on the scoreboard with time remaining in the second frame. His deflection in the high slot hit twine and brought Capital One Arena to life, but only for a brief moment.
- Because 72 seconds after Strome’s tally Aleksander Barkov restored the Panthers’ three goal lead.
- Nicklas Backstrom drew the Capitals within two at 53:04. A quick pass from Erik Gustafsson gave Backstrom space above the slot and the shot he took found its way through Bobrovsky.
- Minutes later Evgeny Kuznetsov reduced the deficit to one but it was too little too late. Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart picked up empty net goals before the final buzzer.
- Kuemper’s evening ended with 30 saves (.882 S%).