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About Last Night: Capitals 5, Panthers 4

Florida came back from two goal deficits on two different occasions but fell to Washington.

Friday, 02.28.2014 / 10:50 AM ET / News
By "Hockey Pat" McGrath  - FloridaPanthers.com
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About Last Night: Capitals 5, Panthers 4

ABOUT LAST NIGHT is the morning-after recap of last night’s Florida Panthers game produced by “Hockey Pat” McGrath, a lifelong Cats fan who previously wrote for the Florida Panthers themed blog “TheRatTrick”. It is a followup to Hockey Pat’s hilariously informative gameday article: THE LOWDOWN.

The contents of ABOUT LAST NIGHT and all opinions expressed therein are solely those of Hockey Pat and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Florida Panthers or Sunrise Sports & Entertainment LLC. Having said that, if you find yourself laughing or smiling as you read ABOUT LAST NIGHT, feel free to thank us. We accept thank you notes, tweets and ticket purchases.


Cheer up, it’s Friday:

The Florida Panthers and the Washington Capitals put on a show at BB&T Center last night in both teams’ first game back since the Olympic break. The back and forth game had the Capitals leading 4-2 heading into the third period but the Panthers made a spirited comeback to tie the game at four midway through the final stanza. Unfortunately Florida could not hold on as Alex Ovechkin scored his league leading 41st goal of the season with less than five minutes left to put Washington up for good.

The 5-4 loss may not have been the desired result but that’s okay, I’m not going to let it get me down. We have plenty of reasons to smile today; it’s Friday, the Panthers have a packed March with 17 games, an exciting trade deadline is just around the corner and Game of Thrones starts back up in 49 days.

Before we completely move on, let’s take a brief look at what you may have missed from last night.

Play of the Game: Thomas robs Green

It is fair to say that Tim Thomas is not the most conventional goalie in the world. With his unique style, Thomas has the ability to make plays that you would rarely see from any other goalie in the league. This was in evidence last night when Thomas robbed Capitals defenseman Mike Green on a breakaway. Check out the video:

The save, along with the new headgear Thomas was rocking caused quite a stir on twitter…

Fun with twitter

Tweet of the game:

Always nice to see the Celebs coming out….

Olympic impact

In yesterday’s pre-game Lowdown, I took a few shots at Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom for the way their respective Olympics came to an end. The duo made me eat my words with their performance on the ice last night as they each tallied a goal and two assists. Ovechkin’s goal came with just 4:17 left in the game and proved to be the game winner. Maybe next time I will just keep my mouth shut.

Ovi Defensive Breakdown

Onnnnn the other hand, if you have ever wondered how Ovechkin can be leading the league in goals yet still be a -17 check out this highlight of Brad Boyes’ third period goal.

From :05-:08 we see Ovechkin do a slow, flat-footed loop towards his defensive blue-line. At this point it looks like the Caps may have gained possession of the puck so it makes sense that the offensive thinking Ovechkin would be looking towards the other end of the ice. The Caps however turn the puck over and who should end up with the goal? Brad Boyes, the player Ovechkin left uncovered as he glided towards the neutral-zone.

Boyes’ goal tied the game 4-4 until Ovechkin scored the game winner about six minutes later, his 41st goal of the season. So….I guess the lesson here is, as long as Ovi keeps putting up the G’s, he can get away with shirking away a few of his defensive responsibilities.

Tripping off the Power

In my “10 Questions” for the rest of the season I mentioned the Panthers’ power play as an area to watch. The Cats got things off to a good start last night as they managed to find the back of the net on one of their man-advantages.

The Panthers came out with a bit of a different look as the team had big 6’6” Jimmy Hayes posted up in front of the net screening Braden Holtby. The change worked out as Drew Shore got a power play goal firing the puck through Hayes’ legs and past a visually impaired Holtby to bring the Cats to within 4-3.

Hayes did not receive an assist on the play but his presence in front of the net was the key to the goal.

On a side note, Shore was my selection for last night’s “Young Gun” Lead Pipe Lock of the Night, so this is me patting myself on the back.

Two for Baby Boyes

Brad Boyes and his wife recently welcomed a new baby into the family and what did the proud father do last night? He went out and scored two goals (his 16th and 17th of the season). The pair of goals gave Boyes 28 points on the season and helped him leapfrog over Scottie Upshall for the team scoring lead. Boyes’ two goals in honor of his new baby is the most impressive sports performance for a little’un since Kramer and Paul O’Neil.

That about wraps things up for Panthers-Capitals. The Cats will be on the road for a back-to-back this weekend against the Blue Jackets and the Islanders before stopping in Boston on Tuesday. Enjoy your weekends everybody, we’ll still be here when you get back.




1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69


J. Jagr 79 27 39 23 66
J. Jokinen 81 18 42 25 60
A. Barkov 66 28 31 18 59
J. Huberdeau 76 20 39 17 59
V. Trocheck 76 25 28 15 53
R. Smith 82 25 25 19 50
A. Ekblad 78 15 21 18 36
N. Bjugstad 67 15 19 -8 34
B. Campbell 82 6 25 31 31
B. Pirri 52 11 13 -4 24
R. Luongo 35 19 6 .922 2.35
A. Montoya 12 7 3 .919 2.18

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