Kevin Dineen needed more than a timeout tonight. (GIF by welshhockeyfan)
The Florida Panthers opened tonight’s game against the Washington Capitals with four straight shots on Braden Holtby in the first 1:44 of game action. They looked sharp. They looked ready to get out of the Southeast division cellar. The wheels fell off 24 seconds later.
As John Erskine wound up from the Panthers’ blue line — in what he would later admit was just a dump-and-change — Florida’s starting goaltender Jacob Markstrom mis-judged Erskine’s blast and allowed the puck to squeak through his seven-hole. 1-0 Caps.
2:36 later, the Capitals would score on their very next shot, as Markstrom was caught off guard by Wojtek Wolski‘s strong net crash. Enter Scott Clemmensen.
Clemmensen gave up two more goals — one to John Carlson and another to Mike Ribeiro — in the next six shots. The Capitals received a standing ovation and headed into intermission with a 4-0 lead, their biggest goal explosion this season.
“I don’t know what to say,” Markstrom told reporters after the game. “It was terrible. I feel like I let the team down. I am there to stop pucks, and I didn’t do that tonight.”
Now enjoy fun facts from the first period –plus video of all four goals.
8 – The number of shots it took for the Capitals to get their first four goals of the game, a 50% shooting percentage.
10 – The number of different Capitals skaters who recorded a point in the first period (Erskine, Ovechkin, Ribeiro, Wolski, Backstrom, Brouwer, Hendricks, Oleksy, Carlson, Perreault).
190 – The number of seconds Jacob Markstrom would last in net for the Panthers.
8:10 – The amount of time that elapsed until Kevin Dineen took a timeout.
3 – The number of times Calle Johansson described the team’s 4-0 lead as “tough” during an intermission interview with Al Koken.
100% – The shooting percentage of Erskine, Wolski, Carlson, and Ribeiro at the end of the period.
0% – Markstrom’s save percentage for the night.
2 – The number of points Alex Ovechkin got in the first period. He is now one short of 700 for his career.
10 – The number of shifts Caps rookie defenseman Steve Oleksy played (8:56) in the first period, a game-high.
-3 – The plus-minus of Florida defensemen Tyson Strachan and Brian Campbell after the first twenty minutes.
148 – The total number of feet the puck traveled for the Capitals to score all four goals in the first period.
8 – The number of Panthers regulars that were out tonight due to injury.
5 – The number of times Alex Ovechkin’s fiancé Maria Kirilenko tweeted during the first period. Including this photo showing how and where she was watching the game.
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