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Panthers Wrap-Up: Capitals 3, Panthers 2 (Shootout)

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers

1 2 3 OT SO T
Panthers 0 1 1 0 1-2 2
Capitals 1 1 0 0 3-3 3
FLA - J. Winchester (3), PPG - T. Fleischmann (3)
WSH - N. Backstrom (5), J. Carlson (1), SO - B. Laich

WASHINGTON, D.C. —  ( - The Washington Capitals' game against the Florida Panthers on Saturday may not have featured the same fireworks as their game Friday against the Philadelphia Flyers, but the result was the same.

One night after drubbing the Flyers in a 7-0 road win, the Capitals returned to Verizon Center for the first time in two weeks to defeat the Panthers 3-2 in a shootout..

"It's a matter of earning it. Getting the puck on your stick and then doing some good things with it. Overall, that's a good snapshot of the potential that we can give. Disappointing not to get the (extra) point but certainly we're happy with the effort."

- Head coach Kevin Dineen.
1. Trailing Despite Effort: Following Friday night's game, head coach Kevin Dineen said that only three players were pulling their own weight, the coaching staff made some changes to the lineup, putting in Scott Clemmensen, Scottie Upshall, Krys Barch and Ryan Whitney. The players seemed to take notice as they came out flying and buzzing the Washington zone in the opening 20 minutes. The Panthers outshot the Capitals 11-5 and that was just the shot total as the Capitals blocked another 12 Panthers shots. Aided by that zone time was three power play attempts. Despite the effort, Florida found themselves trailing on what looked like a harmless play. On a rush, Eric Fehr tried to pass it but the puck went off a Florida defenseman to an on-rushing Nicklas Backstrom. Left unchecked, Backstrom sent a shot on Clemmensen that beat the netminder five-hole with 3:19 to play.

2. Back-To-Back Shifts: Despite trailing 1-0 after one, the Panthers continued their assault on the Capitals and were finally rewarded in the second with 8:20 to gone. Forward Jesse Winchester has been one of the best Cats forwards this season, and knotted his third point in his last four games and third goal on the season. Set up on the breakaway by Upshall, Winchester scored despite being hooked by Brooks Laich. The tied game was short-lived however as the Capitals retook the lead on the very next shift. The puck was in their own zone but moved quickly up the ice and Latta sent a cross-ice pass to John Carlson who scored off the post and in.

3. Fighting Back For A Point: Trailing, the game seemed to move quickly in the third and with chippy play picking up in the third, the teams had five penalties in the final 20 minutes. That chippiness allowed the Panthers to tie the game. First, Tomas Kopecky and Mike Green were sent off for roughing in front of Neuvirth with 4:33 to play. Playing four-on-four hockey, Steve Oleksy took exception to an Upshall hit against the boards and slashed the Panthers forward, giving the Cats their sixth power play of the night, a 4-on-3 for 1:02. It looked like the open ice wouldn't play a factor but the Cats finally found a way to beat Neuvirth as Brian Campbell collected the puck from behind the net and fed a wide open Tomas Fleischmann just above the goal line. With Neuvirth looking the other way, Fleischmann knotted the game with 2:38 remaining. That would force overtime and eventually a shootout. There, Aleksander Barkov tied the shootout in the first round but Neuvirth stopped Jonathan Huberdeau while Brooks Laich and Backstrom beat Clemmensen to take the extra point. A lot to like about the game with the exception of the final outcome. 
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@JaredBriggs852: @FlaPanthers @goldieonice great game nice to see them playing hard for sixty minutes

@mkahl54: @FlaPanthers we'll take the point but I feel like I've seen this story many times before

@bonitabeach02: @FlaPanthers @jwinch18 Put up a great fight Panthers. Soupy & Huby nice assists to Fleischmann.

@joshalexandru24: @Pantherss88 @hlamp @FlaPanthers I think they finally got the memo that a team that plays like a team wins like a team

@laura_ramirez13: Can't deal with these loses. But loved the effort put by the boys. Keep playing like this #FlaPanthers

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Jeff Carter: stop losing. pretty please?

Geovanni Oglesby: Boo booo booo !!! Y cats y

Bobby Vene: Ugh man ):

Mandee Berger: Heartbreaker...

Ryan Brent: another game that the cats out shoot the opponent but cant come up with any goals to show for it. something has to change.

1. With Tomas Fleischmann getting hit up high late in the first, fellow forward Marcel Goc came to his linemate's aid, dropping the gloves with M. Latta with 3:39 remaining. For Goc, it was foreign territory as it was his first career fight in his 502nd NHL game. The 17 penalty minutes he racked up on the fight (instigator, fighting major and 10 minute misconduct) easily trumped the most penalty minutes he has recorded in a game in his career, having posted four PIM on six different occasions.

4. Shootouts have been the norm of late for the Panthers as they played in their fourth one in the last six games. Florida beat Minnesota before falling to Chicago, Tampa Bay and now Washington.

6/12. It took their sixth power play and 12th power play shot of the night to do it but the Panthers broke through with 2:38 remaining in the game as Tomas Fleischmman tied the game at two.

27. Playing the night before, the Panthers came out with some desperation, especially in the first period as they attempted 27 shots on net. Michal Neuvirth stopped 11 of them while the Capitals blocked another 12 and the Cats were credited with four missed shots.

36. The Panthers and Capitals traded goals within a 36-second span in the second period. Forward Jesse Winchester tied the game at one but defenseman John Carlson answered on the very next shift.

Michal Neuvirth
Was .

31 Shots, 31 Saves, 1.000 SV%
After playing twice in two days, the Panthers will have two days off before they host the Edmonton Oilers at the BB&T Center. It will be one of just two games over the next 11 that Cats fans will get to see the team play at home as they take to the road for a couple of long road trips. The Oilers will also have two days before playing in Sunrise Tuesday after hosting the Red Wings Saturday night. Edmonton has gotten off to a tough start to the season, posting eight points (3-9-2) in their first 14 games. Offensively, they're led by young forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Jordan Eberle and Mark Arcobello.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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