Demons finally cast out for the Panthers

The forward caused their first-round playoff elimination by scoring the game-winning goal in a third straight game on Friday as the Florida Panthers won 4-3 in overtime at Capital One Arena.

Verhaeghe, whose participation in Game 6 was doubtful due to injury, settled the dispute by foiling Ilya Samsonov, at 2:46 of overtime. He had the game-winning goal in the 5-3 win at Florida on Wednesday and in the 3-2 win at Washington, still in overtime, on Monday.

« I don’t remember seeing that, he’s ‘hot' », commented the center player Claude Giroux. “He flies on the ice and I consider myself lucky to play with him. »

The Panthers have rallied from a 2-1 series deficit and come from behind in the last three games. They finally cast off their demons by winning their first series in 26 years.

« We talk a lot about our comebacks, » said interim coach Andrew Brunette. “They call us the ‘Comeback Cats’, but I’m not sure about that.

“I see a bunch of guys who take hits but don’t fall and hit back. They showed it throughout the series, including tonight. The Capitals did a lot of good things, we took the hits and hit back. It sums up our season perfectly,” said Brunette.

By taking series honors in six games, Team Florida earned their first bye to the second round since appearing in the Stanley Cup Finals in 1996.

Alexander Barkov gave the Panthers the lead for the first time at 14:17 into the third period.

Veteran Giroux had his say in the win, with one goal and two assists. He had created the deadlock 2-2, at 8:18 in the third period.

Ryan Lomberg was the Panthers’ other scorer. Nic Dowd, Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie were those of the Capitals.

In nets, the veteran Sergey Bobrovsky (34 saves) won his duel against young Ilya Samsonov (27 saves).

The Panthers will face the winners of the series between the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round. Game 7 of the thrilling duel takes place in Toronto on Saturday.

good squalls

The gusts were predictable, but the Panthers had to deal with a strong headwind early on.

The Capitals went wild with about 15 hits in less than the first six minutes of play.

the hurricane Alex Ovechkin hit with hard-hitting shoulder strikes. He sent Aaron Ekblad head over heels and Florida’s top defenseman retired to the locker room. Ekblad only returned briefly.

The Panthers finished the first period with four defensemen. Ben Chiarot also left with a few minutes to play. He appeared to injure his left foot on the forecheck of Garnet Hathaway.

Video: Verhaeghe propels the Panthers to the second round

Luckily for the Panthers, Ekblad and Chiarot were back in action for the start of the second period.

The storm passed, the Capitals invited their rivals to a more relaxed activity, a game of chess. They knocked down the first coin by giving themselves the lead, at 3:44. Positioned in front of Bobrovsky, Dowd received the nice pass from Hathaway. He got caught twice, not being sure that his initial shot had hit the target.

True to their curious ways, the Panthers started to play better. Lomberg, who was put in the lineup in place of Anthony Duclair, provided the line at 6:13. He concretized the throwing return of Patric Hornqvist.

As in the first period, each of the teams failed to seize a chance in numerical superiority. The opportunity would have been great for the Panthers to break the ice in the series.

Third anime

The Capitals were able to apply the plan on defense to the letter, after being restored to the lead early in the third. Backstrom deflected the defender’s shot justin schultzat 1:37.

The Panthers came back to score, at 8:18. Coming on the right flank, Giroux surprised Samsonov with a wrist shot after receiving the puck from Ekblad at the entrance of the zone.

Barkov gave the visitors the lead for the first time at 2:17 p.m. A few feet from Samsonov, he only had to lodge the disc in the free space.

Moments earlier, Dowd had seen his shot hit the post to Bobrovsky’s left.

The Capitals, however, had not said their last word. The Panthers chased after the mess, taking a penalty with just over a minute to go. Oshie sent the game into overtime, when we were attacking six against four and furiously near Bobrovsky.

Ovechkin even came close to giving the Caps the win in the dying seconds of regulation time.

« We did a lot of good things, including our way of defending while creating offense, » Capitals coach Peter Laviolette said. “We just couldn’t finish the job. We led 2-1, only to lose the lead. We had to fight very hard to bring about extra time. In the end, we couldn’t close the books. »

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