Capitals Rally Falls Short, Lose To Panthers 5-4 (OT)

Photo: Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Florida Panthers 5-4 (OT) Saturday night at Capital One Arena. The loss drops the Capitals record to 30-18-7 (67 points). The Capitals are back in action Monday night when they host the Los Angeles Kings in the final game of their season-long six-game homestand. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM. 

The Panthers notched two quick tallies in a 35-second span of the first period for a 2-0 lead at the first intermission. Brett Connolly would cut the Panthers lead in half early in the second period, making it 2-1. The Panthers would restore their two-goal lead with a goal late in the second period, but Lars Eller would answer in the waning moments of the period for a 3-2 Panthers lead at the second intermission. The Panthers would stretch their lead to 4-2 before the Capitals rallied with goals from Connolly and Kuznetsov to tie the game late and send it to overtime. The Panthers would win it in the extra frame.

Braden Holtby (19-13-3, 3.01 GAA, .908 sv%) got the start in goal for the Capitals. This was Holtby’s 400th career NHL appearance. Roberto Luongo (11-12-1, 3.11 GAA, .897 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the visiting Panthers. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs:



Christian Djoos returned to the lineup for the first time since December 11 in Detroit. Djoos had surgery on his left thigh to treat compartment syndrome. For the first time all season (55 games) the Capitals will start their preferred lineup.

Djoos’ return to the lineup required that the Capitals to make a roster move, so on Friday they sent Jonas Siegenthaler to Hershey.

The Panthers would strike first with a goal from Frank Vatrano at 12:58 of the opening frame.

35 seconds later the Panthers would stretch their lead to 2-0 with a goal from Keith Yandle at 13:30 of the first period.

The first period would expire with the Panthers leading 2-0. Shots on goal (SOG) were tied 9-9. The Capitals out-attempted the Panthers 21-16 for the first 20 minutes. Florida was 0 for 2 and Washington 0 for 1 on the power play.

The Capitals would get on the scoreboard with a goal from Brett Connolly at 5:02 of the middle frame, making it 2-1. Andre Burakovsky (7) was credited with the lone assist.

The Panthers would respond and restore their two goal lead with a tally from Colton Sceviour at 9:17 of the middle frame.

The Capitals would get it right back with a goal from Lars Eller at 19:20 of the second period.

The second period would conclude with the Panthers holding on to a 3-2 lead. The Caps led 12-10 in SOG for the middle frame, and led 23-18 in shot attempts for the second period.

The Panthers struck off the third period faceoff with a goal from Derick Brassard at :07 into the final frame.

But the Capitals would respond. Brett Connolly would register his second goal of the game at 6:12 of the final frame, making 4-3 Panthers.

The Capitals would tie the game with a goal from Evgeny Kuznetsov at 16:54 of the final frame, making it 4-4.

Regulation would end in a 4-4 tie.

The Panthers would win it in overtime.


  • Braden Holtby played in his 400th career game. He became the second goaltender in franchise history to play in 400 games (Olie Kolzig: 711 games).
  • Lars Eller cut the Panthers lead to 3-2. He now has points in six of his last seven games against the Panthers (3g, 8a).
  • The NHL box score is here.


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About a month ago I went to a sports bar to watch a @capitals hockey game. I sat at the bar and a guy struck up a conversation with me. . After the usual pleasantries, he asked what I was doing at a bar alone. I replied that I came to watch the game because I don’t have cable. He said he was surprised. . Then for the next hour he proceeded to ask me to “name at least 3 of the players,” tell him when the team was created, and all sorts of other trivia. He asked if I even had a jersey. I replied that I had two, which led him to saying “yea and I bet they’re both for Ovechkin” – basically saying that if I did have jerseys they were for the most popular player only. Spoiler, neither are. 😛 . You have to wonder why people care so much about “proving your a fan” of music, sports, etc. Honestly I have this happen often regarding topics ranging from listening to Green Day to reading comics to even loving Disney. It’s always “yea I bet you like it, but if you’re a reallllll fan you would know XZY.” . When we interrogate people and make them feel like they can’t be a fan unless they can play 20 questions about the topic, we discourage people from trying new things, starting new hobbies, and finding their bliss. . Hockey has given me so much joy over the past few years, but I may not have become a dedicated fan if I encountered people like that guy at the bar every time I watched or went to a game. Let people go down a new path and discover new sources for happiness – no matter what their sex, age, race, or identity is. #hockeyisforeveryone

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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3 Responses to Capitals Rally Falls Short, Lose To Panthers 5-4 (OT)

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Connolly giveth (with 2 goals) and he taketh away (with a penalty as the end of regulation)

    Why does this team keep shooting themselves in the foot? (Penalties, turnovers and other soul crushing boners)?

    When’s the last time the Caps came back from a deficit of more than one goal and actually win the game?


  2. Pingback: Brett Connolly Enjoying Breakout Year With Capitals | NoVa Caps

  3. Pingback: Game Preview: Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers: The End Of The Road | NoVa Caps

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