August 14, 2022

Washington Capitals Game 27 Recap: Lifeless Caps dumped by Panthers


(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

You’d think the boys would have had a little bit more energy playing in front of their pops on the annual Father’s Weekend trip.

The Washington Capitals were thoroughly outplayed by the Florida Panthers Thursday night in Sunrise, Florida, falling 4-1 before their family and friends — and very few others in the desolate BB&T Center.

The Caps (19-6-2-39) managed a measly 21 shots on goal and didn’t register until Alex Ovechkin’s 14th of the season with 2:08 left to play.

Jaromir Jagr got Florida’s party started less than one minute into the game, notching his ninth of the season — and 731st overall to match Marcel Dionne for fourth place on the all-time goal scorer’s list — just 51 seconds in. Dmitry Kulikov fired from the high slot and Jagr tipped in on his way through the slot past Philipp Grubauer.

It set a tone for the Panthers outworking their guests all night.

Midway through the second, Florida made it 2-0. This time, there was no trickery, just a one-timed bullet from Brandon Pirri on a power play from the top of the right wing faceoff circle that no one was in position to block, and Grubauer was just beaten.

The Caps started to press in the third, though it didn’t result in any more shots on goal — they registered just four in the frame. It did result in another Florida goal, however, as John Carlson was caught up ice, allowing Jonathan Huberdeau and Aaron Ekblad to race back the other way two-on-one, the one being Nate Schmidt.

With Schmidt sprawled, Huberdeau’s pass was on the tape, and Ekblad shoveled it past Grubauer to effectively end the competitive portion of the evening at 7:19 of the third.

The Caps got one back, though. With a penalty to Panthers goalie Al Montoya (20 saves) having just expired, the Caps were still in power-play mode, and Ovechkin buried one from his usual spot to cut it to 3-1 with 2:08 left.

But Florida added an empty-net goal with 1:04 to go, leaving the players little option than seeking solace from their fathers in the post-game.

NEXT GAME: The Caps travel to Tampa Bay Saturday at 7 p.m.

About Dave Nichols

Dave Nichols is Editor-in-Chief of District Sports Page. He is credentialed to cover the Washington Nationals, Capitals, Wizards and Mystics. Dave also covers national college football and basketball and Major League Soccer for Associated Press and is a copy editor for the Spokesman-Review newspaper in Spokane, WA. He spent four years in radio covering the Baltimore Orioles, Washington Redskins and the University of Maryland football and basketball teams. Dave is a life-long D.C. sports fan and attended his first pro game in 1974 — the Caps’ second game in existence. You can follow him on Twitter @DaveNicholsDSP

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