Capitals Give Up Five Unanswered Goals, Fall To Panthers, 5-3; Florida Takes First Lead In Series, 3-2

Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images

Up 3-0, the Washington Capitals gave up five unanswered goals in the second and third periods to lose to the Florida Panthers, 5-3, Wednesday night at FLA Live Arena in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers now lead the series 3-2. Game 6 is set for Friday night at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for 7:30 PM ET.

The Capitals opened the Game 5 scoring with a power play goal from T.J. Oshie early in the first frame and successfully killed two penalties to hold a 1-0 lead at the first break.

The Capitals struck early in the middle frame with goals from Justin Schultz and T.J. Oshie to quickly make it 3-0, but Florida would answer. The Panthers finally got on the board to make it 3-1 midway through the middle frame and added two late goals to tie the game 3-3 at the second intermission.

The Panthers would score their fourth unanswered goal early in the final frame to take their first lead of the game, 4-3. The would add another late goal to make it 5-3.


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Ilya Samsonov (1-1-0, 1.66 GAA, .949 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Capitals. Sergei Bobrovsky (2-2-0, 2.72 GAA, .904 sv%) got the start in goal for the Panthers. The starting lines and pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Michal Kempny, Matt Irwin, Hunter Shepard.

Injured: Carl Hagelin (eye, missed 31st straight game, out indefinitely), Tom Wilson (lower-body, fourth game missed, day-to-day)


The Capitals opened the scoring with a power play goal from T.J. Oshie (4) at 7:09 of the first period. John Carlson (4) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (1) had the helpers.

The Capitals would be called for two penalties in the first period, but the penalty kill squashed both of the Panthers man-advantages, extending their perfect streak to 15 for 15 kills in the series.

The period would end with the Capitals leading 1-0.

The Panthers led in shot attempts 17-12, with the Capitals leading in scoring chances 9-8 and high danger chances 5-3. The Capitals also led in xGF 1.15 to .74.


The Capitals made it 2-0 on a gritty goal from Justin Schultz (1) at 2:12 of the middle frame. Lars Eller (2) and Alex Ovechkin (5) had the helpers.

The Capitals would then quickly make it 3-0 on T.J. Oshie’s (5) second goal of the game at 3:38 of the second period. Evgeny Kuznetsov (2) and Connor McMichael (1) had the helpers.

The Panthers would finally get on the board on a goal from Carter Verhaeghe (4) at 6:50 of the second period. Aleksander Barkov (3) and Claude Giroux (2) had the assists.

The Panthers would then cut the Capitals lead to one goal with a tally from Patric Hornqvist (1) at 12:27 of the second period. Carter Verhaeghe (1) had the lone assist.

The Panthers would then tie the game with a goal from Sam Reinhart (2) at 14:41 of the second period. Carter Verhaeghe (4) had the lone assist.

The period would end with the game tied 3-3.


The Panthers made it four unanswered goals and took their first lead of the game on Carter Verhaeghe’s second goal of the game at 3:04 of the third period. Aleksander Barkov (4) had the lone assist.

Clause Giroux would add a late goal to make it 5-3.


  • T.J. Oshie scored to give the Caps a 1-0 lead. That’s his fourth goal of this series and third on the power play.
  • John Carlson and Evgeny Kuznetsov were credited with the assists on Oshie’s goal. With his 73rd career playoff point, Carlson has passed Dale Hunter (72) for the third-most playoff points in franchise history.
  • With Oshie’s 57th playoff point with Washington (27g, 30a), he has passed Peter Bondra (56) for seventh place on the franchise’s points list.
  • T.J. Oshie gave the Caps a 3-0 lead with his second goal of the game. Oshie’s five playoff goals are tied for second in the NHL this postseason.


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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22 Responses to Capitals Give Up Five Unanswered Goals, Fall To Panthers, 5-3; Florida Takes First Lead In Series, 3-2

  1. Anonymous says:

    That one’s gonna leave a(nother) mark.

  2. Anonymous says:

    We were down 3-2 in 2018, coming home for Game 6.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well that sucked.

  4. novafyre says:

    Am I correct in that the Caps did not recall anyone from Hershey after the Bears’ season ended?

  5. Lance says:


  6. Lance says:

    I love the team and BMac and the scouts. Lavi is a high end coach. The biggest trouble with this team is 1) WINNING FACEOFFS and 2) soft on D.

    BMac has done a lot of good things but he has failed to address our godawful performance in the dot. Beagle was great at faceoffs and he was an important piece of the Cup win. BMac hasn’t replaced him and doesn’t seem to place a lot of importance in winning faceoffs. ?!??!

    • steven says:

      GMBM is nothing more than a clone of GMGM. Good at trading picks and young players for older players who are of no use. Like you said he has done nothing to address the face0off issues that this team has. Sad to say part of the problem in doing anything is their lack of admitting that they are no longer a viable Cup contender. Playofffs yes but not the Cup. They have 9 players in total making up over 50% of the salary cap and have somany issues starting with having not 1 but 2 Number 2 goalies and one is making 42 mil and both are RFA after this season. Is Samsonov worth over $2 mil a year….not on what he has done this year and that is more that then #2 goalies make. Lavi might be a “high end coach” but what this team needs is someone like Brunette who is young and occasionally takes a chance. They also need younger legs on this team and better D!

  7. Diane Doyle says:

    Do I feel hope for the comeback in this series? Not really. Blowing a 3 goal lead is a very bad look, to say the least.

    I also wonder if Ovi is quite right? His goal scoring rate is lower than normal but at least he’s getting assists.

    • Lance says:

      Stranger things have happened!

    • steven says:

      Totally agree and honestly wish that there was someway that over the summer they could trade Carlson, Eller and Samsonov. They let Johansson adn Laarsson and Schults and Kempny and would hagelin adn Backstrom please just retire. That would give this team lots of caproom but dont use it this year or next. Bring up the players fron Hershey to fill slots and draft wisely and better as for the next several years they might even receive a top 10 pick! Now is the time to start the rebuild not keep piece mealing it just to try to make the playoffs.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Mantha has been the invisible man.

  9. Marky says:

    The Panthers have adjusted well to the style of play the Caps are demanding but we are suffering in puck possession and o zone time. The Panthers are essentially playing the Caps game better than the Caps! I also think they can’t match the overall skill level. Next year they need another real good big forward like Nischushkin (Avs) and we do need another RHD to replace Schultz, someone with more jam. Oh, and of course another goalie…

    • steven says:

      Next eyar……frist this summer they ahve to decide which goalie tokeep and for how much as both are RFA nd Sammy is going to want more than the $2 mil he is currently getting adn sad to say but neither has shown where he is a #1 goalie. They they need to let Larsson adn Johansson wlak and hope Hagelin retires. Then explore trade for the following: Carlson or Orlov but would rather keep Orlon, Eller, Samsonov, Oshie and Backstrom (or maybe he wil chose to retire). Then with Schults and Kempny both off the books and hopefully several other high paid players alsooff the books this team can become younger and faster. The end result will be a higher draft pick as they might not make the playofs but that has to happen sooner or later and better to start now while you still ahve Ovie as a draw then to wait until after he breaks the record to start a rebuild and have an almost empth house nightly.

  10. Anonymous says:

    The Capitals should use 6 attackers in Game 6. Having Samsonov in goal is the same as an open net.

    • steven says:

      Lets see wonder what the scoring recoed is for goals in a game> THis game played the way you suggest would end up 25 – 3. A nice big fat loss!

  11. Anonymous2 says:

    The Capitals should use 6 attackers the entire in Game 6. Having Samsonov in goal is the same as an empty net.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Series was over when they choked away game 4. Roster is to slow and old. Window is slammed shut.

  13. i like this article

  14. behance says:

    His goal scoring rate is lower than normal but at least he’s getting assists.

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