Panthers Hold Off Late Rally, Beat Capitals, 5-3

Eliot J. Schechter:Getty ImagesPhoto: Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Florida Panthers by a score of 5-3 and failed to clinch their fourth consecutive Metropolitan Division title at BB&T Center in Sunrise on Monday night despite the fact that the New York Islanders lost to the Toronto Maple Leafs by a score of 2-1 with each team down to two games left before the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Goaltender Pheonix Copley made 29 saves in the loss.

Capitals’ Lineup at Panthers

Forward Brett Connolly returned to the lineup after missing Saturday night’s 6-3 win at the Tampa Bay Lightning due to illness. Forward Andre Burakovsky slid back down to the fourth-line while Connolly played on the third. Center Travis Boyd drew out of the lineup.

First Period

Forward Frank Vatrano snapped a shot gloveside on Copley from the slot after getting the puck from forward Colton Sceviour 13:48 in to make it 1-0 Panthers.

The Capitals led 12-10 in hits and won 52% of the faceoffs after 20 minutes of play.

The Panthers led 13-5 in shots, 5-4 in takeaways, 5-1 in blocked shots, and had seven giveaways while the Caps had eight after the first. They went 0-for-1 on the power-play in the opening frame.

Second Period

Forward Jonathan Huberdeau banged the puck in from the slot on a failed clearing attempt by center Nicklas Backstrom to double the Panthers’ lead 3:34 into the period.

Center Vincent Trocheck went five-hole on a breakaway 13 seconds into a Capitals’ power-play after getting sprained with a pass from the defensive zone to make it 3-0.

Forward Troy Brouwer finished a beautiful three-way passing play with center Aleksander Barkov and forward Dryden Hunt, potting the puck into a wide open net from the slot with 2:03 to go in the period.

The Capitals led 13-10 in second-period shots, had 11 giveaways while the Panthers had 12, and won 57% of the draws in the first two periods.

The Panthers led 24-18 in shots, 13-7 in takeaways, 9-4 in blocked shots, and 24-23 in hits after two.

Neither team scored on their lone power-play through 40 minutes.

Third Period

Center Evgeny Kuznetsov redirected defenseman John Carlson’s shot from the point with 10:55 left to cut the lead to 4-1.

Center Nicklas Backstrom pounded a one-timer from the right circle after getting set up in the slot by forward T.J. Oshie to cut the Panthers’ lead in half with 3:35 left.

Forward Jakub Vrana cut the Florida lead to one with a shot from the glove side of Luongo after getting it from Oshie in the slot with 2:21 to go.

Trochek added an empty-net goal from center ice to make it 5-3 Florida with his second of the game.

The Capitals 35-29 in hits, had 14 giveaways while the Panthers had 18, and won 53% of the draws.

The Panthers led 34-29 in shots, 16-8 in takeaways, and 12-6 in blocked shots.

Each team had 10 third-period shots but neither team scored on their two power-play opportunities.

The Capitals return home from their three-game Southeast road-trip when they host the Montreal Canadiens at Capital One Arena on Thursday night. Action from the District can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NBCSN nationally beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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2 Responses to Panthers Hold Off Late Rally, Beat Capitals, 5-3

  1. Pingback: Montreal at Washington Preview: Capitals Look To Lock Up Metro Against Canadiens On Thursday Night | NoVa Caps

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