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The Washington Capitals fell to the Florida Panthers 3-2 Thursday night in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers would strike first early in the opening frame before Lars Eller would tie the game late in the period, making it 1-1 at the first intermission. Andre Burakovsky would give the Caps a 2-1 lead midway through the middle frame. The Panthers would tie the game late in the final frame with a goal from Nick Bjugstad and win it with a power play goal with 19 seconds left in the game. The Capitals return to action on Saturday when they host the Buffalo Sabres at Capitals One Arena. Puck drop is 7:00 p.m.
Braden Holtby (28-12-4, 2.95 GAA, .909 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Roberto Luongo (7-7-1, 2.54 GAA, .929 sv%) got the start in goal for the Panthers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Scratches: Alex Chiasson, Madison Bowey and Jakub Jarebek were the healthy scratches.
The Panthers would light the lamp first with a rebound goal by Maxim Mamin at 4:50 of the first. This was Mamin’s first career NHL goal.
Brooks Orpik and Mackenzie would drop the gloves with 9:16 remaining in the first period.
Lars Eller would tie the game with a deflection of an Andre Burakovsky shot from the point at 18:55 of the first period.
The first period would conclude with the game tied 1-1. The Capitals outshot the Panthers 14-11 for the first 20 minutes.
The Capitals would take a 2-1 lead with a goal from the slot by Andre Burakovsky at 9:56 of the middle frame. This was Burakovsky’s 7th goal of the season.
The period would end with the Caps holding on to the 2-1 lead. The Caps outshot the Panthers 11-7 for the period, and 25-18 after two periods of play.
The Capitals and Panthers battled the final period with furious pace but no scoring. The Panthers led in shots on goal 8-4 with five minutes remaining in regulation. Florida went nine minutes where they generated just a single shot on goal.
However, the Panthers would tie things up with a goal by Nick Bjugstad at the 16:18 mark of the final stanza and grab the lead with 19 seconds remaining in the game to steal the victory.
- This is the 2nd time in the Caps last 5 games Burakovsky has had a multi-point game.
- The NHL box score is here.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM THE SUNSHINE STATE