Although they are far from being the favorites against the mighty Florida Panthers, the Washington Capitals continue to surprise. Washington easily won 6-1 to advance 2-1 in the series.
The match had started well for the Panthers. Jonathan Huberdeau threw a cold shower on fans assembled at the Capital One Arena. Quebec opened the scoring after just 2:45 with a powerful shot from the wrist. With that goal, Huberdeau snatched his 18th playoff point to join Ray Sheppard for the number one spot in Panthers history.
However, the hats managed to hit the target before the end of the first engagement. With 26 seconds to go, TJ Oshie brilliantly deviated a shot from Alexander Ovechkin to get everyone back to square one.
Washington has played the big game of hockey since the beginning of this series and continued its momentum into the second period. Marcus Johansson gave Australia the lead for the first time in the match. Anthony Mantha and Niklas Backstrom got help with the line.
Capitals again took advantage of the end of the period to score a big goal. Trevor van Rimsdijk He spent all the time in the world in first place to beat Sergey Bobrovsky with a good shot in the wrist.
Then in the middle of the third period, Ovechkin hit the target with a good one timer while he was well positioned in his office at the top of the circle, in a power game. He dealt a blow to the Panthers with the 72nd goal of his qualifying career.
With 4:20 minutes left in the final period, Jon Carlson wrapped up the Capitals win with an empty net goal. To make matters worse, Garnet Hathaway added the sixth goal 42 seconds before the end of the match.
“We know the tide can turn quickly in qualifying,” O’Shea said. When one team wins the game, the other team makes adjustments and works twice as hard on the next game. That’s what they did in the second game and we did it in the third. »
In his first start to the series, Ilya Samsonov was solid in front of the hat net and scored 29 saves. Samsonov came in relief to Vitek Vanecek in Game 2. Then he stopped 17 pucks that were aiming at him.
“I am always ready,” said Samsonov. Sometimes the playoffs start, sometimes it’s up to another goalkeeper. But you always have to be prepared. If you want to win, you need 16 wins. »
“I think we’re playing nervous. It’s not our way of playing and we have to find a way to succeed in some plays,” Huberdeau said after the defeat.
It was even more difficult on the part of Sergei Bobrovsky, as the veteran surrendered five times in 30 shots. Game 4 will take place Monday night, again on the Washington side.
“For me, frustration prevailed,” interim Panthers coach Andrew Brunot said. When you’re feeling down, it’s usually because you’re not working hard enough. Maybe he is nervous. But we have to find a way around this. »
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