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About Last Night: Capitals 5, Panthers 4

by "Hockey Pat" McGrath / Florida Panthers

ABOUT LAST NIGHT is the morning-after recap of last night’s Florida Panthers game produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. It is a followup to Hockey Pat’s hilariously informative gameday article: THE LOWDOWN.

The contents of ABOUT LAST NIGHT and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read ABOUT LAST NIGHT, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.


Cheer up, it’s Friday:

The Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals put on a show at BB&T Center last night in both teams’ first game back since the Olympic break. The back and forth game had the Capitals leading 4-2 heading into the third period but the Panthers made a spirited comeback to tie the game at four midway through the final stanza. Unfortunately Florida could not hold on as Alex Ovechkin scored his league leading 41st goal of the season with less than five minutes left to put Washington up for good.

The 5-4 loss may not have been the desired result but that’s okay, I’m not going to let it get me down. We have plenty of reasons to smile today; it’s Friday, the Panthers have a packed March with 17 games, an exciting trade deadline is just around the corner and Game of Thrones starts back up in 49 days.

Before we completely move on, let’s take a brief look at what you may have missed from last night.

Play of the Game: Thomas robs Green

It is fair to say that Tim Thomas is not the most conventional goalie in the world. With his unique style, Thomas has the ability to make plays that you would rarely see from any other goalie in the league. This was in evidence last night when Thomas robbed Capitals defenseman Mike Green on a breakaway. Check out the video:

The save, along with the new headgear Thomas was rocking caused quite a stir on twitter…

Fun with twitter

Tweet of the game:

Always nice to see the Celebs coming out….

Olympic impact

In yesterday’s pre-game Lowdown, I took a few shots at Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom for the way their respective Olympics came to an end. The duo made me eat my words with their performance on the ice last night as they each tallied a goal and two assists. Ovechkin’s goal came with just 4:17 left in the game and proved to be the game winner. Maybe next time I will just keep my mouth shut.

Ovi Defensive Breakdown

Onnnnn the other hand, if you have ever wondered how Ovechkin can be leading the league in goals yet still be a -17 check out this highlight of Brad Boyes’ third period goal.

From :05-:08 we see Ovechkin do a slow, flat-footed loop towards his defensive blue-line. At this point it looks like the Caps may have gained possession of the puck so it makes sense that the offensive thinking Ovechkin would be looking towards the other end of the ice. The Caps however turn the puck over and who should end up with the goal? Brad Boyes, the player Ovechkin left uncovered as he glided towards the neutral-zone.

Boyes’ goal tied the game 4-4 until Ovechkin scored the game winner about six minutes later, his 41st goal of the season. So….I guess the lesson here is, as long as Ovi keeps putting up the G’s, he can get away with shirking away a few of his defensive responsibilities.

Tripping off the Power

In my “10 Questions” for the rest of the season I mentioned the Panthers’ power play as an area to watch. The Cats got things off to a good start last night as they managed to find the back of the net on one of their man-advantages.

The Panthers came out with a bit of a different look as the team had big 6’6” Jimmy Hayes posted up in front of the net screening Braden Holtby. The change worked out as Drew Shore got a power play goal firing the puck through Hayes’ legs and past a visually impaired Holtby to bring the Cats to within 4-3.

Hayes did not receive an assist on the play but his presence in front of the net was the key to the goal.

On a side note, Shore was my selection for last night’s “Young Gun” Lead Pipe Lock of the Night, so this is me patting myself on the back.

Two for Baby Boyes

Brad Boyes and his wife recently welcomed a new baby into the family and what did the proud father do last night? He went out and scored two goals (his 16th and 17th of the season). The pair of goals gave Boyes 28 points on the season and helped him leapfrog over Scottie Upshall for the team scoring lead. Boyes’ two goals in honor of his new baby is the most impressive sports performance for a little’un since Kramer and Paul O’Neil.

That about wraps things up for Panthers-Capitals. The Cats will be on the road for a back-to-back this weekend against the Blue Jackets and the Islanders before stopping in Boston on Tuesday. Enjoy your weekends everybody, we’ll still be here when you get back.

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