Carter Verhaeghe gets the most out of extra time as the Florida Panthers knock out Washington Capitals in the final Stanley Cup final

One NHL tournament ended when another went on.

Florida overcame its 26-year drought and won 4-3 extra time at Washington Capitals in Game 6 on Friday night. The Panthers had not won a playoff series since 1996, when they appeared in the Stanley Final Cup.

“[That series win] it was a long time, “said Jonathan Huberdeau, who wrote three points on the list against Washington.

Florida, who advanced as Carter Verhaeghe’s OT OT winner, is advancing to meet the winner between the Tampa Bay Lightning and Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round. The 7-match series is set for Saturday at 7pm ET.

With Florida winning the playoffs, Washington are just about out of the playoffs for the first time. The defeat resulted in four consecutive trips from Washington, which they have not won in the playoffs since winning the Stanley Cup in 2018.

“[It’s] things have changed a lot, “said Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.” We have it, but we just blow it up. It’s up to us. [Nicklas Backstrom]pa [TJ Oshie]pa [John Carlson]. It’s up to everyone. “

“We gave them the list,” added Backstrom.

Washington did not make it easy for Florida, however. The Capitals had a hard time initiating these playoffs, coming in as eight seedlings against the Presidential winners. Florida dominated the league badly since its inception and won the franchise-record 122 points.

However, the Capitals gave Florida all they could do, leading 2-1 after Game 3.

Instead, Washington won Game 1 and Game 3 with a combined score of 10-3, pushing Florida netball operator Sergei Bobrovsky to the limit and challenging the leading Florida elite. In Game 5, the Capitals took another 3-0 lead, but they let it go until their backs were on the wall.

This was a major turning point for the Panthers. Not only did it give them a chance to win the series but they calmed Washington’s confidence ahead of what could be Game 6 in their home.

“These things, you have to go through it to feel good,” longtime Panthers coach Andrew Brunette said of overcoming obstacles. “You have to have a heart attack. You find it difficult, you understand it, and you are patient. When you see the rewards as they saw tonight, everything is worth it.

“We grabbed a punch, stood up, and started to retaliate.”

Washington worked hard even in Game 6 to keep Florida going, scoring late for extra time and forcing the Panthers to do a great job.

The Capitals were also on the board for the game, with Nic Dowd beating Bobrovsky early in the second half.

But Ryan Lomberg responded quickly to Florida, making it 2-2 to third place.

The Capitals continued to push, and Backstrom put them back on top in less than two minutes in the final frame. Claude Giroux made his mark for the third season in Florida, with captain Aleksander Barkov scoring for the Panthers in the third.

Winning the Verhaeghe Games in Florida was his sixth goal of the postseason. He left the game earlier after suffering an injury but returned to play for the Panthers champion. In doing so, Verhaeghe became the first NHL player to score three straight goals in the playoffs since David Krejci in 2011 and is the first player in the history of the Florida franchise to score several OT winners in a single series.

The Panthers continue into the second half carrying off unsettling performances of the only playoff team that did not score a strong goal. Florida went 0-for-19 against Washington and the extra man, after boasting of the fifth strongest league in the league (24.4%) in the regular season.


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