The Capitals Rally fell short a goal to tie the game in the waning seconds of the game. But it was remarkable there was a nail biter ending to begin with as the Caps struggled through 33 minutes of the game and the Panthers pounced to a 5-1 lead half way through the second. Mike Knuble managed the only Caps goal through that first half after a great entry by Marcus Johansson. It opened time and space for Knuble to slap it through Panther goaltender Scott Clemmensen.
Cody Eakin scored his third of the season after his line did some great forechecking late in the second period. With just :20 left in the second frame, Eakin gave a glimmer of hope to the Capitals going into the intermission.
If the first period was awful to watch, in stark contrast, the third period was the Caps best by far.
Pressing the play, strong on the forecheck, and maybe playing a team that had packed it in with the score seemingly out of reach, the Caps out chanced the Panthers 8 to one in the final period of the game. Goals by Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera made the game a bit more interesting, but the Caps couldn't find the equalizer.
The Caps' special teams let them down. Their penalty kill was a horrendous 3-6 while the power play was anything but special going 0-2. John Erkine picked up an instigator penalty when he fought Bracken Kearns in the first when the Capitals were down 2-0. The Panthers three power play goals were the deciding factor in the Caps' loss.
Michal Neuvirth let in possibly the softest goal of his career just :13 seconds after the Panthers' first goal. A knuckler that beat him 7 hole seemed to deflate the team and with some bad penalties and a Florida power play that was clicking, it was lights out soon after that.
The silver lining was the Caps drive to even make the comeback. It was lead, in part, by John Carlson who was the only player on either team to have a +3 with his three assists. He trailed only Dennis Wideman (29:00) in ice time minutes (26:15).
Until the Capitals can solve their woes on the PK and on the PP, it would be wise for this team to steer clear of the penalty box. Take away the three power play goals the Caps gave to the Panthers and it's a 4-2 game.
- Alex Semin has missed his second straight game with an undisclosed upper body injury. Anyone miss him?
- Alex Ovechkin did play but was ineffective with only 4 shots on net and a miserable -2.
- Capitals outshot the Panthers 32-30 but only outshot them in the third period (13-6).