Panthers outlast Capitals in lengthy shootout win
SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) — Tomas Kopecky scored the winning goal in the 10th round of the shootout, lifting the Florida Panthers to a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals on Friday night.
Kopecky’s goal went high over Philipp Grubauer and into the net. It came after the Panthers missed five previous chances to win the game during the shootout.
Jonathan Huberdeau, Brad Boyes, and Nick Bjugstad also scored in the tiebreaker for Florida. Aleksander Barkov and Dylan Olsen had the regulation goals, and Scott Clemmensen made 23 saves.
Eric Fehr, Nicklas Backstrom, and Mikhail Grabovski scored shootout goals for Washington. Joel Ward and Backstrom scored in regulation, and Grubauer stopped 39 shots.
The Panthers won for the fourth time in five games and snapped an eight-game losing streak to the Capitals.
The Caps lost for the first time in four games.
Washington got off to a sluggish start. It only had seven shots in the first period and was without a shot on net in the second until the 9:37 mark.
That changed quickly after Erik Gudbranson’s blow to Fehr’s head at 16:16 of the second. Troy Brouwer then dropped the gloves with Gudbranson, drawing a fighting penalty. Gudbranson got a match penalty.
Both teams scored during the resulting 4-on-4 play.
The Capitals tied it at 1 when Backstrom scored 18 seconds into the 4-on-4 on a wrist shot from the slot. The Panthers then answered that goal when Barkov stole the puck near the blue line, brought it to the right circle, and wristed it past Grubauer on the stick side at 17:56.
Ward added a power-play goal with 30 seconds left in the second, leaving it tied again. Originally ruled no-goal during a scrum in front of the net, the officials used a video review to determine the puck had crossed the goal line.
Olsen’s goal started the scoring in the second. His bad-angle shot from low in the left circle got past Grubauer 2:13 into the period for his third goal in his past nine games.
The Capitals had a goal disallowed in the game’s opening minute when it was ruled that Martin Erat nudged Clemmensen out of the goal and interference was called.
NOTES: Backstrom has 10 points in his last six games for the Capitals. … Florida G Tim Thomas missed the game due to a lower-body injury from Thursday’s practice. … Former goalie John Vanbiesbrouck, who played with Florida from 1993-98, was honored with a bobblehead doll.