The Caps beat the Panthers 4-2! Really good!

Wilson, Ovechkin, Kuznetsov, Oshie. The Washington Capitals stars showed up in force in their playoff debut against the Florida Panthers. It took a lot of effort to crack Florida goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, but it was worth it.

Tom Wilson scored Washington’s first postseason goal as a long power play expired. Then he completely smoked the game and the Panthers started scoring. First it was Sam Bennett, who tied the game with a goal that the Washington skaters should have prevented and the Washington goaltender should have saved.

At the start of the second, Panthers legend Claude Giroux made a shrewd move, kicking the puck and then flipping it over to give Florida the lead.

In the third, Alex Ovechkin forced a turnover in the Panthers area which Evgeny Kuznetsov converted into the tying goal. Nick Backstrom sent a perfect pass to TJ Oshie to put the Caps ahead with nine minutes left in regulation time. Eller had the empty net.

The selections win 4-2. The selections lead the series 1-0.

  • I was really surprised by the physique of the Panthers. I expected them to beat the Caps with possession of the puck. It was the opposite. The Caps often had the puck and the Panthers punished them for it.
  • Thomas Wilson played like a shift and a half. He took a penalty, scored a goal, then was banned to the phantom zone. Was he hurt or what? Perhaps linked to a success on Weegar? Maybe something related to his body? I have no idea.
  • The villain of the game was the Florida striker march of the masons. Marchment fabricated a hold call on Fehervary while holding his stick. Then he baited Anthony Mantha into a slash, then he fired a slash from Johan Larsson.
  • Really great effort Conor Sheary. He moved the puck for the front line, took penalties and created chances. Some points would be nice, but we can work up to that.
  • I gotta like it Yevgeny Kuznetsov objective. Alex Ovechkin was very savvy on the forecheck, beating Mackenzie Weegar, then Kuznetsov absolutely slammed the puck and over Bobrovsky. Big game goal from two big players. And good to see this bird soaring.
  • It’s the loffs, so the blame game is inevitable. I did not like Vitek Vanecek let Sam Bennett shoot in front of him, but I didn’t like that Jensen and Orlov let Bennett get shot in the first place. I don’t know what VV could have done on that goal from Giroux; it’s just a shame given how nearly perfect Bobrovsky was on the other end of the ice.
  • If you don’t know anyone who has needed an abortion, then maybe the people in your life who have needed an abortion don’t trust you with that information.

I meant to say something like “ho hum I was pleasantly surprised by how well the Caps played this game”, but that understates it. They played a masterful hour of hockey. They faced a dominant possession team and controlled them. They generated a ton of chances and converted them when needed.

Well, I admit that I was suspicious when entering this series. But now I’m really excited. It was a great game. I want to see the next one.

Let’s go! On Thursday.

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