Cats Nip Capitals, 5-4 In Overtime

Photo: Bruce Bennett via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Florida Panthers, 5-4 (OT) Thursday night at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. The overtime loss drops the Capitals record to 5-1-4 (14 points) on the season. They are currently tied with the New York Rangers for second place in the Metropolitan Division, four points behind the Carolina Panthers.

The Panthers would strike quickly in the first period with goals from Aleksander Barkov and Aaron Ekblad for a 2-0 lead at the end of the first frame.

Daniel Sprong would get the Capitals on the scoreboard just 43 seconds into the middle frame, but the Panthers would answer with a goal from Brandon Montour and a power play marker from Barkov to make it 4-1. Alex Ovechkin would cut the lead to two goals with a tally with less than two minutes left in the middle frame and Tom Wilson would score his first goal of the season with 17 seconds left in the period to make it 4-3 at the second intermission.

Connor McMichael would score his first career NHL goal to tie the game 4-4, early in the final frame. Regulation would end with the game tied 4-4. The Panthers would win it in overtime.



Vitek Vanecek (2-1-0-2, 2.40 GAA, .906 SV%) got the unexpected start between the pipes for the visiting Capitals. Sergei Bobrovsky (6-0-0-0, 1.81 GAA, .944 SV%) got the start in goal for the Panthers. Ilya Samsonov was supposed to start the game but left the ice after warm-ups. He would return to replace Vanecek at 1:45 of the first period. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: Nicklas Backstrom (Injury), T.J. Oshie (Injury), Dennis Chowlowski, Matt Irwin and Hendrix Lapierre.


The Panthers would open the scoring with a goal from Aleksander Barkov (6) at 3:07 of the first period. Anthony Duclair (2) and Carter Verhaeghe (4) had the helpers.

The Panthers would make it 2-0 on a turnover by John Carlson. Aaron Ekblad (4) would notch the second tally at 11:04 of the first frame.

The first frame would end with the Panthers leading 2-0. Shot attempts were tied 16-16. High-danger scoring chances were also tied, 4-4. The Panthers held a slim advantage in expected goals for percentage 50.41% to 49.49%.


Sergei Bobrovsky would not start the second period. Spencer Knight would relieve Bobrobsky to start the middle frame.

The Capitals got on the scoreboard with a goal from Daniel Sprong (2) just 43 seconds into the second period. Anthony Mantha (4) had the lone assist.

But the Panthers would answer with a goal from Brandon Montour (2) at 7:16 of the second period. Gustav Forsling (8) and Mason Marchment (5) had the helpers.

The Panthers would make it 4-1 with a tally from Aleksandr Barkov (7) at 15:32 of the middle frame. Patric Hornqvist (3) and Aaron Ekblad (7) had the assists.

Alex Ovechkin (10) would cut the Cats lead in a half with a tally at 18:11 of the second period. Lars Eller (4) would get the assist.

Tom Wilson (1) would cut the Panthers lead to 4-3 at 19:43 of the second period. John Carlson (5) and Alex Ovechkin (7) had the assists.

The second period would come to an end with the Panthers hanging on to a 4-3 lead. The Capitals led in shot attempts 22-1 in the second period, and 38-27 after two periods. The Capitals led in HDCF% 76.47% to 23.53% thru two periods.


The Capitals would tie the game with a goal from Connor McMichael (1) at 6:56 of the final frame. Alex Ovechkin (8) and Brett Leason (1) had the assists. The goal was McMichael’s first career NHL goal.

The third period would conclude with the game tied 4-4.


The Panthers would win it in overtime.

The Capitals are back in action on Saturday when they host the Philadelphia Flyers at Capital One Arena.


  • Daniel Sprong scores his second goal of the season to cut Florida’s lead to 2-1. It marks Sprong’s first career goal and point against Florida.
  • Anthony Mantha earned the primary assist on Sprong’s goal, his fourth assist of the season. Three of Mantha’s four assists have been primary assists.
  • Alex Ovechkin scored his League-leading 10th goal of the season to cut the deficit to 4-2. It marks Ovechkin’s 740th career goal, leaving him two goals shy of passing Brett Hull (741g) for fourth on the NHL’s all-time goals list.
  • Tom Wilson scored his first goal of the season to cut Florida’s lead to 4-3. It marks Wilson’s eighth point (1g, 7a) in 10 games this season.
  • John Carlson earned the primary assist on Wilson’s goal, his fifth assist of the season. Carlson extends his point streak to four games (1g, 3a).
  • Alex Ovechkin earned the secondary assist on Wilson’s goal, marking his seventh assist of the season and his 597th career assist. Ovechkin is three assists shy of becoming the ninth active player to reach the 600-assist mark.
  • Brett Leason recorded the secondary assist on McMichael’s goal, marking his first career assist. Leason has recorded points in consecutives games and now has two points (1g, 1a) in three career games.
  • Alex Ovechkin recorded his second assist and third point of the night on McMichael’s goal. Ovechkin is now two assists shy of 600 career assists.
  • Connor McMichael scores his first career goal to tie the game. McMichael, the Capitals’ first-round pick, 25th overall, in the 2019 NHL Draft, has recorded three points (1g, 2a) in eight games this season.
  • McMichael is the fourth Capitals rookie to score their first career goal this season (Hendrix Lapierre, Martin Fehervary, Brett Leason). Washington’s four rookie goal scorers are tied with the Anaheim Ducks for the most in the NHL.
  • Martin Fehervary registered a game-high seven hits against Florida, matching a Capitals’ single-game high this season (Garnet Hathaway: seven hits, Oct. 25 at Ottawa).


About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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4 Responses to Cats Nip Capitals, 5-4 In Overtime

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    I remember the days when they used to make comebacks and actually win in Overtime. But those were the days, my friend……

  2. nonna427 says:

    How bout practicing some O/T?!?!

  3. DC Scappeli says:

    Jon, nice headline, lol…

    Any word on Mantha injury? That guy needs to get going with some goals, not just assists. He and Eller need to both get going but especially Mantha. We gave up 20+ goal production with Vrana. Mantha needs to match that. Wish he was more physical too.

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