Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty ImagesWASHINGTON — After two months, 13 games played this season, and 16 shots on goal, Richard Panik finally found the cheese tonight at Capital One Arena against the Anaheim Ducks. He roared his excitement after the score as “Hey Look Ma I Made It” by Panic at the Disco blasted throughout the arena. The goal, Panik’s first with the Capitals, ends his 12-game pointless streak. “It’s nice to have the first one of the year off the chest,” he told us tonight after the game.
Coach Todd Reirden said, “He’s [Panik] been around it the last few games and getting some good chances. That’s great for him to get that first one and build from there”. Panik and linemates Travis Boyd and Lars Eller led on the ice tonight with an aggressive shift that saw Boyd with a crisp pass to Panik who launched it for the back of the net 50 seconds into the first period.
Don’t Panik! Richard got his 1st 😎 pic.twitter.com/pnXOZOInOg— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 19, 2019
“When you start someone other than your top six they know they have to be ready to go,” said Reiden, “and they were”. Panik agreed with Reirden, “We played really good, we generated chances.” The goal marked the third time this season the Capitals have scored in the first minute of play the most of any team in the 2019-2020 season. While Panik looked promising during the pre-season, his in-season play was prematurely interrupted after eight games following an on-ice collision with teammate Jonas Siegenthaler. Panik was subsequently placed on long-term injured reserve and missed 10 games starting 10/18, ultimately returning on 11/11 against the Arizona Coyotes. Since returning, Panik has launched 10 shots on goal including six against the Flyers on 11/10 and three against the Bruins on 11/13. “I think my game got a lot better after that [the injury],” he said. “I had shots but they didn’t go in”.
#CapsDucks Lines!Read news/notes: https://t.co/kz0rd7zluF pic.twitter.com/cI7SaFosEH — Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 18, 2019
Panik joined the Capitals to fill the gap left by Brett Connolly’s departure on the third line. He recorded 30 points in his last three seasons and achieved a career high of 44 points with the Chicago Blackhawks during the 2016-2017 season. While expectations with Panik were high. He had only played a full NHL season once in his six years in the NHL. Panik’s tally marked his first for the Capitals as they beat the Anaheim Ducks 5-2 tonight at Capital One Arena increasing their record 16-3-4. The Capitals now prepare to face the Division rival the New York Rangers Wednesday, 11/20 at Madison Square Garden.
#CapsDucks 3 ⭐️’s of the game:⭐️: @Holts170 ⭐️⭐️: Richard Panik ⭐️⭐️⭐️: @CStephenson22 pic.twitter.com/WR0oQGnDO4 — Washington Capitals (@Capitals) November 19, 2019