The Washington Capitals have fallen to the Florida Panthers. The Capitals took the lead twice in Game Six but declined several opportunities to either protect or extend those leads.
The Caps struck first: Nic Dowd diving to take a shot on the rush. The Panthers tied it less than three minutes later off Ryan Lomberg.
Early in the third, Nicklas Backstrom executed an expert deflection to give Washington their second lead of the night, which evaporated seven minutes later when Claude Giroux scored on the rush.
With five minutes and forty-three seconds left in the game, Aleksandr Barkov got a layup to put the Panthers up. The Capitals were 63 seconds from elimination when Anthony Mantha and TJ Oshie played ping-pong in the crease to tie the game and force overtime.
Carter Verhæge won it overtime.
Caps lose. Florida wins the series four games to two.
Hell of an effort by Dowd who hits iron, then scores off his own rebound to put the Caps up 1-0 pic.twitter.com/t5qQ9dvMHV
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) May 14, 2022
We love Walton, but get well soon, Joe B.
missing my boy @JoeBpXp but looking forward to tonight an d this fine suit from @JohnWaltonPxP #joebsuitofthenight pic.twitter.com/9wv0WYlUE8
— Good Tweet Pete 🌮 (@peterhassett) May 13, 2022
That was a very tough series — and a very tough season. The Washington Capitals surpassed expectations, but it’s hard to avoid the impression that they had little left in the tank at the end. They’re an older roster, struggling to stay mobile. They’ve got impressive offensive weapons, but with those weapons come defensive weaknesses that teams like Florida readily exploit.
A team’s outlook can change so fast in this league. Remember how dreary Florida looked in 2018? But the path from here — Washington’s fourth consecutive first-round elimination — to real contention is not clear to me. Inside the organization, I’m not sure what the expectations for this team are anymore. Are they the “just get Ovi more goals” regular-season fan club?
I don’t know, and I’m obviously a grumpus, so let me end with some positive notes. This playoff series was infinitely better than the last two Washington offered. Even in defeat, they have a lot to be proud of. They came damn close from pushing the President’s Trophy winners to the brink.
Thanks for reading RMNB. You know by now that we’re not going anywhere. We’ve got at least four games seven (universally known as “gays sev”) this weekend, so stick around and let’s watch, I dunno, like, either the Rangers or Penguins get their hearts broken. That’ll cheer us up, right?
Headline photo: pennybacker
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