Capitals fall short again to Panthers

Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Washington Capitals Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports /

The Washington Capitals lost their third game in a row this time to a team that’s on their tail in the Eastern Conference Wild Card race. The Florida Panthers routed them 6-3 and right when there was hope for the Caps the hope got taken away.

Gustav Formling scored at 9:10 in the opening period. They outshot the Caps 10-6.

Marc Staal scored at 1:32 and Colin White added one at 7:20. Dylan Strome got the Caps on the board at 15:51 with T.J. Oshie and Erik Gustafsson having the assists. It was Strome’s 12th goal of the season and the goal was scored on a deflection.

The Panthers answered with Aleksander Barkov at 17:03.

The Caps got back in the game in the third period with two power play goals at 13:04 by Nicklas Backstrom assisted by Gustafsson and Evgeny Kuznetsov at 17:28 assisted by Oshie and Gustafsson.

Unfortunately the Panthers answered once again and gave the Caps no chance after they cut the deficit to one. They scored twice at 18:39 by Anton Lundell and Sam Reinhart at 19:45 to make it 6-3 which was the final.

The Panthers outshot the Caps 20-12 in the second period while the Caps outshot them 14-6 in the third. Shots were 36-32 Florida overall.

Also in the third period Marcus Johansson got in a collision with former Capital Radko Gudas. As of last night, Capitals Coach Peter Laviolette said that he was still being evaluated.

Laviolette also praised Oshie’s game and his fire and emotion saying, “what are we waiting for?”.

More from Laviolette:

"“I said it after the second period, ‘T.J., I loved it.’ It’s great. We’re in a playoff mode here, so more of that. Give me some more of that. And it was good that he got in there. He’s in the front, he’s in the paint, he’s hunting for a goal and trying to get dirty, and with it comes a scrum.”"

Must Read. Top 3 reasons to get excited for Stadium Series. light

The Caps will practice in Raleigh this evening at the site of the Stadium Series with the game itself taking place at 8 p.m. tomorrow on ABC against the Hurricanes.