Panthers beat Caps 4-3 after Mantha’s two-goal game and injury
Panthers beat Caps 4-3 after Mantha’s two-goal game and injury

Panthers beat Caps 4-3 after Mantha’s two-goal game and injury

Panthers beat Caps 4-3 after Mantha’s two-goal game and injury

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The Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers played a tightly contested game on Wednesday night. The Caps looked great out of the gate, but the Panthers soon picked up the pace, keeping the score close all night long.

Anthony Mantha, yes: him, scored in the first period, a brilliant deflection accomplishable only by the most genius goal-scoring experts on the planet. Oliver Ekman-Larssen received a pass from down low to tie it up, and then Florida took the lead with Sasha Barkov’s quick shot from up-close after a no-look pass.

Connor McMichael scored his first shorthanded goal in the second period, set up by Aliaksei Protas. Later, Anthony Mantha got his second of the game, stunning viewers like the Porygon episode.

Early in the third, Gus Forsling gave Evan Rodrigues a flawless pass, tying the game 3-3. That’s where we left it at the end of regulation. Overtime lasted a quarter of a minute. Reinhart.

Caps lose 4-3.

  • Anthony Mantha, lawful neutral paladin of never scoring, broke his oath tonight. The second goal was lovely, a rush with Connor McMichael, but the real artwork was this brain genius sequence. If that looks like luck, like an accident, that’s because the masterful craftsmanship has obscured the human deliberation such that all you feel is the hand of god himself pushing the puck into the net. Don’t be deceived. It’s talent.
  • In the third, a shot by Evgeny Kuznetsov hit Mantha’s head. Play was stopped, the trainer came to the ice, and it looked scary. Mantha did not return. It gave me a flashback to Carlson’s injury last year.
  • The Capitals had their fifth goal overturned since October 24. This time it was Milano’s goal, crossed out because Tom Wilson was offside. I’d complain but there’s no way Milano would have scored had Wilson caught the whistle he deserved on the play.
  • Wilson got away with that, but had a high stick earlier in the same period. He’s tied with Anaheim’s Frank Vatrano for the league lead in minor penalties (9). In his and Washington’s defense, he also draws a ton of penalties.
  • TJ Oshie took a hard puck to the ankle in the third period. He stayed in the game. If that happened to me, I’d call in sick to work for a week.
  • Connor McMichael made some great plays tonight. He scored his first shorty, showing a bit of the finish he’s been lacking. He now trails Connor McDavid by six shorthanded goals for the record for most shorthanded goals by someone named Connor Mc-something.
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  • Alexander Alexeyev had a real bad night, on ice for two Panthers goals, peeking in the offensive zone maybe once. If he was an enriched load I had to present to Paul and Prue for the signature challenge, I’d throw him back in the oven for a bit, full-whack.  For A^2, it’s hard to fault him for the Rodrigues goal; that pass was fated.
  • No goals for the big guy. Are we worried?

I liked Washington’s effort tonight, but Florida controlled the game more as the night wore on. I choose to think of that as proof that the Caps have room to improve. They’re still missing finishing talent/luck, and they’ve got some glaring flaws, but they’re doing a lot right. I’m feeling good about them. Let’s see if I still feel that way after Friday’s game in New Jersey.

Headline photo: Kurly from Crashers


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