Capitals Take Down Panthers, 6-1, To Retake Series Lead In Game 3; Johansson, Ovechkin, Mantha, Carlson, Backstrom Each Tally Two Points

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the Florida Panthers by a score of 6-1 at Capital One Arena on Saturday afternoon to retake the lead in the the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff first-round series, 2-1. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves in the win.

Capitals’ Round 1, Game 3 Lines

Graphic: @Capitals

With center Connor McMichael drawing in, left-wing Anthony Mantha shifted to the right side of the second-line while right-wing T.J. Oshie bumped up one line and left-wing Conor Sheary dropped down two. Right-wing Garnet Hathaway slid down a line as well.

Scratched: RW Brett Leason, LW Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, LHD Matt Irwin, LHD Michal Kempny

Injured: LW Carl Hagelin (eye, missed 29th straight game, out indefinitely), RW Tom Wilson (lower-body, second, day-to-day)

First Period

Left-wing Jonathan Huberdeau ripped a wrister down the wing from the left dot high glove on Samsonov after getting a rink-wide pass from right-wing Anthony Duclair from the defensive blueline to put the Panthers on the board first just 2:45 in.

Captain Alex Ovechkin sent a floater from up top off of an offensive zone draw after defenseman John Carlson threw the puck to him with right-wing T.J. Oshie screening goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky in front and Oshie got a touch on the shot to tie the game on the man advantage with 26 seconds left. Ovechkin has a three-game point-streak to open the postseason (three assists). With his 14th career power-play postseason goal with the Capitals, Oshie passed Peter Bondra for second in franchise history (Ovechkin: 27). Half of Oshie’s 30 career Stanley Cup Playoff goals have come with an extra man.

The Capitals led 11-9 in shots, 7-1 in blocked shots, 21-16 in hits, and scored once on two power plays through 20 minutes.

The Panthers led 3-2 in takeaways, had one giveaway while the Capitals earned five, was held off of the board on one power play, and won 52% of the draws in the first.

Second Period

Right-wing Marcus Johansson backhanded one to the roof glove-side on Bobrovsky at the front after left-wing Anthony Mantha’s backhand shot from the slot was blocked by Panthers defenseman Ben Chiarot to put the Capitals in front at 9:51. Backstrom, who recorded the secondary assist, has earned a point in every game of the series. Both Johansson and Backstrom tallied their second point of the game.

Defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk wristed one past the glove of Bobrovsky to the top corner from the slot after Johansson pounced on Backstrom’s rebound and fed him from the side of the net to pad the Capitals’ lead to two on the forecheck with 1:11 left.

The Capitals led 36-30 in hits and scored once on three power plays in the opening 40 minutes.

The Panthers led 22-18 in shots (including 13-7 in the second), 11-10 in blocked shots, 6-4 in takeaways, had three giveaways while the Capitals turned in six, won 51% of the draws, and was held scoreless on three opportunities on the man advantage through two.

Third Period

Ovechkin blasted a one-timer from the left dot past the blocker of Bobrovsky after left-wing Conor Sheary fished a loose puck out from a board battle and fed him wide open to make it 4-1 with 9:35 left. The 36-year-old’s 28 career postseason power play goals are tied for the seventh-most in NHL history and tied with Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin for the most among active players. It marks Ovechkin’s 72nd career Stanley Cup Playoff goal, moving him past Bryan Trottier for the 16th-most postseason goals in NHL history.

With an empty net at the other end and the Panthers applying pressure in front of Samsonov, Carlson sent one into the open cage from behind Samsonov to give the Capitals a 5-1 lead with 4:20 to go.

With 41.7 seconds left, right-wing Garnet Hathaway tucked in the rebound off of center Johan Larsson’s wrister from in close to make it 6-1.

The Capitals led 31-30 in shots (including 13-8 in the third), 14-6 in takeaways and scored twice on six power plays.

The Panthers led 49-44 in hits, 14-12 in blocked shots, had five giveaways while the Capitals turned in nine, won 55% of the draws, and was held scoreless on three opportunities on the man advantage.

Game 4: Monday from Capital One Arena (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington locally, TBS nationally)

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 Capitals Take Down Panthers, 6-1, To Retake Series Lead In Game 3; Johansson, Ovechkin, Mantha, Carlson, Backstrom Each Tally Two Points

  1. novafyre says:

    Caps played well, but to me the outcome of the game is always on a scale with one end being team A winning and the other end being team B losing. In this case, I feel it was 30% a Caps win and 70% a Cats loss. The Caps played to their potential and, in the case of Sammy, beyond it. But the Cats were no shows. Presidents’ Curse? Overconfidence? Ego? I don’t know. But in games 1 and 3 the Cats showed the Caps no respect and the Caps trashed them. Hockey is not just physical, it is not just refereeing (although that part has increased far too much), not just X’s and O’s, but is also mental, and the Cats were not mentally in the game. Tampa has been suffering the same problem only worse, so maybe it’s the summer weather in Florida.

    • John says:

      I disagree — NHL playoffs are different in so many ways and this year tells us nothing new. You qualify for the dance, you have just as much of a shot as anyone, regardless of what Vegas says. Playoffs are the only time you see a team in 4-7 straight games, so you are introduced to a whole new level of coaching, mentalities, etc. Things you don’t see during the regular season. I get what you’re trying to say with the Panthers faltering but that’s part of the game. If the Panthers fall apart, that’s one thing, but when the Caps are capitalizing, that’s another. They’re playing well

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