SUNRISE — Tuesday night should have been a good one for the Florida Panthers.
First night of the postseason. Packed building. Sergei Bobrovsky standing on his head.
The Capitals scored two key goals in the third period to erase a one-goal deficit to beat the Panthers 4-2 to take the opening game of this best-of-7 series.
Florida, believe it or not, has not won a Game 1 of a playoff series since 1997 when they beat the Rangers at Miami Arena.
Anyway, as Aaron Ekblad said, it’s a best-of-7 series, not a best-of-1.
Florida will get another kick at this can on Thursday when they play host to the Capitals on Thursday in Game 2.
It’s not a “must-win” game although it certainly feels like it.
Tie it up on Thursday, go to Washington and figure it out from there.
“We’re still in good spirits,’’ Sam Bennett said. “We still know how good of a team we are, so there’s no panic in the locker room whatsoever. Everyone’s still positive. We will learn from that game and move on. It’s a long series.”
Said Andrew Brunette: “I think we had to figure out this is going to be hard. We haven’t had a lot of hard games and we didn’t handle it as well as we’d like to. We weren’t as sharp as we wanted, we lost a little energy. This is a good eye-opener. This is playoff hockey.”
Patric Hornqvist initially did not want to come to the Panthers in 2020, but after he spoke with his family, he headed south.
It has worked out for both Hornqvist and the Panthers.
— Kodak Black made his return to watch the Panthers.
— The Panthers were ready for a rowdy Game 1 in Sunrise — and they got it.
— Even though the playoffs started last night, there is still time to get in to the FHN playoff Bracket Challenge pool with the chance to win a free FHN+ subscription for a year as well as a new Florida Panthers baseball cap.
Per the rules, you can sign up until the first Game 2 starts on Wednesday night.
— Catch Tuesday’s postgame reaction from Ekblad, Sam Bennett and Andrew Brunette on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube page.
If you like what you see on the YouTube page, please subscribe to it; we hit 1,000 subscribers Monday night!
Now we can start doing live shows and the like — as we did Tuesday pre-and-postgame from Sunrise.
Check it out!
Going into Game 1, the Washington Capitals were considered major underdogs against the top-seeded Panthers.
In just 10 minutes, they eliminated a lot of doubt and ended chance of a sweep. For Florida, anyways.
— Tom Wilson only played three shifts for the Capitals — he did have their first goal — and his status for Thursday is not known.
— For all of your Capitals coverage, head on over to WashingtonHockeyNow.Com … Sammi Silber has you covered.
AROUND THE NHL
Louis Domingue was the hero for the Pittsburgh Penguins as he came in out of the bullpen in the second overtime and helped the Penguins beat the New York Rangers 4-3 in triple OT.
— Well, Evgeni Malkin was the real hero of the night for the Pens.
— Mike Yeo will not return to the Philadelphia Flyers next season as Cam Atkinson brings up Torts. Let the rumors begin.
— The Boston Bruins will stick withLinus Ullmark in net for Game 2.
— The Vegas Golden Knights hold clean out day — who is coming back and who is not?
— Bruce Boudreau will return to coach the Vancouver Canucks but he isn’t being offered a multi-year deal.
— The Calgary Flames got off to a solid start in their series against Dallas.
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
FLORIDA PANTHERS V. WASHINGTON CAPITALS (Caps lead 1-0)
- Game 2: Thursday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, TBS
- Radio: WQAM 560 (flagship); 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: Washington at Florida, Thursday, 7:30 (TBS/BSF); Game 3: Florida at Washington, Saturday, 1 (ESPN/BSF); Game 4: Florida at Washington, May 9, 7 (TBS/BSF); Game 5*: Washington at Florida, May 11; Game 6*: Florida at Washington, May 13; Game 7: Washington at Florida, May 15. *If necessary