Thursday, November 04, 2021

A ONE Point Night: Washington Capitals -- Game 10: Panthers 5 - Capitals 4 (OT)

The Washington Capitals spotted the Florida Panthers two goals, and then they fell behind, 4-1.  But they stormed back to score the last three goals of regulation to force overtime.  There, the Panthers dominated, controlling the puck from the faceoff to open the extra frame, and it paid off with a goal in the second minute to earn a 5-4 win.

First Period

Florida wasted little time getting the jump on the Caps, Aleksander Barkov scoring 3:07 into the game.  Anthony Duclair dug the puck out of the left wing corner and centered it to Barkov, whose initial shot was stopped by goalie Ilya Samsonov, but the rebound came right back to Barkov, and his second chance found the back of the net to make it 1-0 for the home team.  Washington challenged the goal on the basis of goalie interference, but the goal was upheld, and the Caps went a man short as a result.  They killed the penalty, but the early damage was done.

The Panthers doubled their lead when they pressured the Caps’ net, pushing the defense back into the net area.  Carl Hagelin managed to clear the puck out of immediate danger, but the attempted clear made its was onto the stick of Aaron Ekblad at the right point.  His blast made it through a Barkov screen and sailed past Samsonov on the glove side to make it 2-0, 11:04 into the period.

Washington had a chance to get back into the game with a power play, courtesy of Brandon Montour’s shooting the puck over the glass at the 13:57 mark.  The Caps did manage a one-timer by Alex Ovechkin late in the power play but could not beat goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. They failed to bet him over the remainder of the period, and the Panthers skated to their locker room leading, 2-0, after one period.

-- Vitek Vanecek started and lasted 1:45 before being relieved by Ilya Samsonov, who was supposed to start, but had some issues that kept him in the locker room to start the contest.

-- Florida outshot the Caps, 14-13 in the period, but the Caps had a 20-19 edge in shot attempts.

-- Four Caps had a pair of shots – Alex Ovechkin, Nic Dowd, Tom Wilson, and Trevor van Riemsdyk; Ovechkin led with three shot attempts.

-- Both teams were loose with the puck.  The Caps had 12 tunovers (four giveaways; eight Panther takeaways), while Florida had 11 turnovers (two giveaways, nine Caps takeaways).

-- Washington had a 13-8 edge in credited hits, Tom Wilson leading with three.

Second Period

Florida started the period without the services of Bobrovsky, giving way to Spencer Knight, and the Caps spent no time exploiting the change.  Anthony Mantha collected a rebound of a Panther shot, turned, and spied Daniel Sprong racing up ice. Manthat hit Sprong in stride behind the Florida defense and on the breakaway he beat Knight cleanly on the glove side to make it 2-1, 43 seconds into the period.

Evgeny Kuznetsov had a chance in the fifth minute, but he was slashed by Chase Priskie 4:20 into the period to put the Caps a man up.  Washington was unable to find the back of the Florida net, and the game remained in the Panthers’ favor.

Florida regained their two goal lead when Montour’s shot from the right point beat Samsonov on the long side, perhaps glancing off the shaft of Connor McMichael’s stick on the way through, making it 3-1 at the 7:16 mark.  The goal sent Samsonov to the bench in favor or Vitek Vanecek, who started the game.

Florida went to a power play when Nic Dowd went off for roughing at 10:10 of the period, and they converted late in the man advantage, or so it seemed.  The goal was disallowed for goalie interference by Patric Hornqvist.

Lars Eller was sent to the penalty box at the 14:36 mark for interference to give Florida their third power play of the evening.  It took 56 seconds for the Panthers to convert when the Panthers converged on the Caps net following a shot from distance by Ekblad.  Three Panthers crowded the net, and when the puck popped out and away from Vanecek, Barkov was there to slam the puck home to make it 4-1, 15:32 into the period.

Alex Ovechkin got the Caps back within a pair when he skated into the left wing circle and snapped a shot under the stick of a Florida defender and off the bottom of Knight’s catching glove at the 18:11 mark.

Tom Wilson got the Caps within a goal in the final minute when John Carlson took a pass from Ovechkin, faked a slap shot, then snapped a shot from distance, off Wilson’s stick and past Knight at the 19:43 mark.  That would close the scoring in the second period, Florida clinging to a 4-3 lead.

-- The Caps outshot Florida, 19-12, in the period and out-attempted them, 25-18.

-- Every Capital had at least one shot attempt through 40 minutes except Anthony Mantha, who did have an assist in the second period.

-- John Carlson led the Caps with 16:31 in ice time through two periods.

-- Martin Fehervary and Tom Wilson led the team with four credited hits apiece through two periods.

Third Period

Connor McMichael got the Caps even with his first NHL goal, 6:56 into the period on a strange play.  Ovechkin barreled down the left side and angled to the Panther net.  He ran out of room for a shot but tried to center the puck, but it hit the skate of Panther Scott Lindell and pooped high into the air.  The puck settled on the other side of the crease where McMichael circled out, and he was in position to bank the puck off the near post and behind Knight to tie the game.  That would be it for scoring in regulation, the game going to…


It was all Panthers in the extra session, controlling the puck for almost all of the running time, allowing them to make multiple line changes while pinning Caps replacements on the bench.  It paid off for the Panthers 1:55 into the overtime when Eetu Luostarainen fired a shot from the top of the right wing circle that was redirected by Tom Wilson’s stick and off Vanecek’s right pad into the net to give the home team the 5-4 win.

Other stuff…

-- This was the second time in five games that the Caps allowed five goals.

-- Alex Ovechkin had a three-point night (1-2-3), his 60th three-point game on the road in his career, tops on the all-time franchise list.

-- Washington outshot Florida, 42-33, and out-attempted them 58-52.

-- Alex Ovechkin led the Caps with six shots on goal and eight attempts.

-- Martin Fehervary ledthe Caps with seven credited hits.

-- Nic Dowd led the Caps with ten faceoff wins in 17 draws.

-- Anthony Mantha finished the game as the only Capital with no shot attempts.

-- Justin Schultz and Ovechkin were the only Caps not credited with a hit.

-- Ovechkin led the team with three takeaways.

-- The Caps finished the game as the league leader in overtime losses (four), all in overtime; they have not gone to a Gimmick yet.

In the end…

It was a weird game with Florida dominating thoroughly early, the Caps having the edge in the last half of the game, players falling down unchecked, pucks clicking off sticks for goals (Tom Wilson on both ends of that), goalies in and out (and, for Vanecek, in again), the Caps erasing a three-goal deficit, Ovechkin doing Ovechkin things.  It was, in most respects, a “good” overtime loss, but those extra time losses are piling up – four in the Caps’ last nine games.  Those are too many points being left on the table.  Split those four games, and the Caps are in second place in the division, not third and fighting to stay out of fourth when Philadelphia comes to town on Saturday.