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May 9, 2022 11:36 pm

Carter Verhaeghe’s OT goal lifts Panthers past Capitals

Carter Verhaeghe scored his second goal of the game 4:57 into overtime as the visiting Florida Panthers defeated the Washington Capitals 3-2 on Monday to level their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series at two wins apiece.

On the winning goal, Verhaeghe got his own rebound and fired the shot in off the right post. The play was reviewed for possible interference on Jonathan Huberdeau, but it was ruled a good goal.

The Panthers will host Game 5 of the best-of-seven series on Wednesday night.

Sam Reinhart scored Florida’s other goal, and Aaron Ekblad had two assists. Florida goalie Sergei Bobrovsky made 14 saves for the win.

T.J. Oshie had a goal and an assist and Evgeny Kuznetsov also scored for the Capitals. Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov made 29 saves.

The eighth-seeded Capitals went 1-for-5 on the power play. For the series, they are 5-for-16 with the man advantage.

Florida, which led the NHL in goals scored and also had the best record in the league in the regular season, won despite going 0-for-4 on the power play.

For the series, the Panthers are 0-for-13 with the man advantage.

Washington opened the scoring on a power-play goal with 7:15 gone in the first as John Carlson’s shot from the point deflected in off Oshie’s shin pads. The power play was set up when Sam Bennett was called for tripping Dmitry Orlov.

Florida tied the score 1-1 with 14:08 expired in the first as Verhaeghe and Ekblad got loose on a two-on-one rush. By the time Eklbad’s pass reached Verhaeghe, he was all alone at the doorstep, and he stuffed the puck in five-hole.

Neither team scored in a second period that was mostly dominated by the Panthers, who outshot Washington 12-4 for those 20 minutes. Both teams failed on three power plays in that second period.

The Capitals took a 2-1 lead with 10:29 left in the third as Kuznetsov outwaited Bobrovsky, holding the puck until he hit the far side of the net from a sharp angle.

Just prior to that goal, Oshie had perhaps the game’s most controversial play as his high hit on Bennett was not called. The Capitals scored their go-ahead goal just a few seconds later.

However, after pulling Bobrovsky for an extra attacker, the Panthers tied the score on Reinhart’s goal from the slot with 2:04 left in the third. Huberdeau and Aleksander Barkov earned assists as Reinhart knocked in a loose puck.

–Field Level Media

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