While you are reading this, the Florida Panthers may be on a charter plane pointed south, the team preparing themselves for what should be a battle in Sunrise come Wednesday night.
And by ‘preparing’ we mean playing lots of poker.
The Panthers came dangerously close to being on the edge of elimination had Sam Reinhart not pulled them from the abyss with a game-tying goal with 2:04 left Monday night.
That allowed Carter Verhaeghe to become just the fourth Florida player to ever win a playoff game in overtime — two were in 1996, the other was Ryan Lomberg — as the Panthers tied things up with a thrilling 3-2 win in Game 4.
Now the Panthers have a chance to turn the tables with a win on Wednesday.
Verhaeghe was part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2020 Stanley Cup championship team — but he is a much bigger part of what the Panthers are doing now.
On Monday night, Verhaeghe got to be a playoff hero.
— The Panthers needed to show some resiliency in Game 4 — and they certainly did.
— We talked a little bit about some potential lineup changes for the Panthers in the pregame and we saw a few of them.
— We have the video postgame from Monday’s postgame with Verhaeghe, Sam Reinhart, Sasha Barkov and Andrew Brunette is on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube channel.
The FHN Panthers Postgame is also up on the channel.
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The Washington Capitals thought there was goalie interference on the game-winning goal as Lars Eller and Jonathan Huberdeau were batting at the net in front of Ilya Samsonov.
The officials looked at it and did not agree.
— It is now a best-of-3 game series with the Capitals coming to Sunrise today for tomorrow’s game. There’s a lot of unpack with Washington’s Game 4.
— The Caps were expecting a desperate Panthers team.
— Don’t forget to visit Sammi Silber for the best Washington Capitals coverage around at WashingtonHockeyNow.Com …
AROUND THE NHL
So, what happened in the other early game last night?
The Pittsburgh Penguins took it to the Rangers, that’s what.
— Johnny Gaudreau scored the biggest goal of his career as the Calgary Flames evened things up with Dallas.
— The Colorado Avalanche took care of the Preds in extremely quick fashion.
— Hey, Tony DeAngelo said something on Monday.
— The big news on Monday was obviously the news breaking the Barry Trotz is out with the New York Islanders.
— Could Trotz end up with the Detroit Red Wings?
— How about the Philadelphia Flyers?
— We should be getting an update on Pete DeBoer’s status with the Vegas Golden Knights soon.
— There’s a report out there that the San Jose Sharks are willing to part with two of their veteran players — and especially their bloated contracts. Hello, Arizona!
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
PANTHERS V. CAPITALS (TIED 2-2)
- Game 5: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN2
- Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
PANTHERS V. CAPITALS
- Regular season series — Florida won 2-1: @Florida 5, Washington 4 OT (Nov. 4); @Washington 4, Panthers 3 (Nov. 26); @Florida 5, Washington 4 (Nov. 30)
- All-time regular season series: Capitals lead 67-44-11, 9 ties
- Playoff history: First meeting
- First-round schedule — Game 1: Washington 4, @Florida 2; Game 2: @Florida 5, Washington 1; Game 3: @Washington 6, Florida 1; Game 4: Florida 3, @Washington 2 (OT); Game 5: Washington at Florida, Wednesday, 7:30 (ESPN2/BSF); Game 6: Florida at Washington, Friday (Time, National TV TBA); Game 7*: Washington at Florida, Sunday. *If necessary