EditorsNote: 7th graf, changes Mackenzie to MacKenzie
Jonathan Huberdeau scored the deciding goal in the fourth round of a shootout as the visiting Florida Panthers defeated the Washington Capitals 6-5 on Friday night.
Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck also scored for Florida in the shootout. The game would’ve gone down as a Panthers loss had Trocheck missed in the third round.
Instead, it was the first win of the season for the Panthers, who had lost their four previous games by one goal each.
Both starting goalies were pulled early in the game.
Washington’s Braden Holtby came out after the first period. He saved seven of 11 shots and was replaced by Pheonix Copley, who made just his fourth NHL appearance. Copley stopped 18 of 19 shots.
Florida’s James Reimer was pulled midway through the second after he allowed four goals on 20 shots, blowing the Panthers’ 4-1 lead. Michael Hutchinson replaced Reimer, saving 10 of 11 shots.
Before he was pulled, Reimer got help from MacKenzie Weegar and Troy Brouwer, who each swept would-be Capitals scores off the goal line in the first period.
In regulation, the Panthers got goals from Trocheck, Huberdeau, Evgenii Dadonov, Colton Sceviour and Jared McCann.
Capitals star Alex Ovechkin did not register a point. But his high hit — that was not penalized — knocked Panthers defenseman Mark Pysyk out of the game, negating an odd-man rush. Ovechkin later decked Barkov with a legal hit.
Washington got regulation goals from John Carlson, Brett Connolly, Jakub Vrana, Devante Smith-Pelly and Nicklas Backstrom. It was Backstrom’s goal with 85 seconds left that sent the game to overtime.
After the teams traded early goals, the Panthers closed the first period with three goals in three minutes as Dadonov got the run started with a power-play score. Sceviour — a healthy scratch in the Panthers’ previous game — scored off his own rebound, and McCann capped the period with his tally.
With Holtby pulled in the second, Washington came right back with three straight goals, including Connolly from a sharp angle.
Florida took a 5-4 lead after two straight Washington penalties — a controversial interference call on Ovechkin and a whistle for too many men on the ice — gave the Panthers a five-on-three power play for 75 seconds. Huberdeau scored to close another wild period.
With 3:08 left in the third, Ovechkin drew a questionable penalty on Weegar, giving Washington a power play and a chance to tie. The Capitals also pulled Copley to give them a six-on-four advantage, resulting in Backstrom’s tying goal.
—Field Level Media