The Florida Panthers played yet another close game on Wednesday night — this one against the host Washington Capitals.
Florida, which trailed early and going into the third, tied the score at 3:33 of the period on a sweet pass from Gus Forsling to a driving Evan Rodrigues.
In overtime, things were over quickly.
Thanks Sam Reinhart.
Reinhart scored off a pass from Sasha Barkov just 15 seconds in to lead Florida to a 4-3 win.
The Panthers (7-4-1) are now 4-0-1 in 1-goal games and 7-3-1 in games decided by 2-goals or fewer.
The only blowout? Saturday’s 5-2 loss in Chicago.
On Wednesday, the Panthers fell behind on a goal in which Anthony Mantha threw up a shot which bounced off Anton Lundell and went past Sergei Bobrovsky.
Florida, getting outplayed and outchanced to that point, would come right back.
Oliver Ekman-Larsson scored 2 minutes later on Florida’s third shot on goal — with Barkov giving the Panthers a lead at 16:45 after Reinhart did a terrific job battling for the puck along the wall and feeding his linemate.
The second, however, belonged to the Caps.
Washington ended up scoring twice in the period — three, if you count the Sonny Milano goal wiped out by Tom Wilson being offside — and took a 3-2 lead into the third.
GOALS OF THE GAME
- Capitals 1, Panthers 0 (10:42, 1st): Anthony Mantha flies a shot toward the middle of the ice and strikes Anton Lundell and gets it past Sergei Bobrovsky.
- Panthers 1, Capitals 1 (12:49, 1st): Oliver Ekman-Larsson fires off a wrister from 50 feet out on Florida’s third shot of the night.
- Panthers 2, Capitals 1 (16:45, 1st): Sam Reinhart battled hard to keep the puck deep in the Washington zone and feeds Sasha Barkov for a one-timer from the left circle.
- Capitals 2, Panthers 2 (6:13, 2nd SH): Connor McMichael gets loose on the Florida power play and drives in on Bobrovsky to tie things up.
- Capitals 3, Panthers 2 (15:51, 2nd): Mike Reilly turned over the puck along the half wall in the Florida zone with McMichael bringing it up the ice on the breakaway. Mantha finishes — the only Florida player he hit on this shot was Bobrovsky.
- Panthers 3, Capitals 3 (3:33, 3rd): Barkov’s faceoff win made its way to Gus Forsling — who threads the needle from the halfwall to Evan Rodrigues crashing the net.
- Panthers 4, Capitals 3 (0:15, OT): Reinhart took a long pass from Barkov and beat Darcy Kuemper for the winner.
GR’S 3 STARS OF THE GAME
1. Sam Reinhart, Florida (GWG, assist)
2. Sasha Barkov, Florida (goal, assist)
3. Anthony Mantha, Washington (2 goals)
PANTHERS ON DECK
CAROLINA HURRICANES @ FLORIDA PANTHERS
- When: Friday, 7 p.m.
- Where: Amerant Bank Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN+
- Radio: WQAM 560-AM, WPOW 95.6 FM2,WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
- Last Season — Regular Season: Carolina won 2-1; Eastern Conference finals: Florida won 4-0.
- This Season: @Florida Friday; @Carolina Feb. 22, March 14
- All-Time Regular Season Series: Carolina/Hartford leads 71-46-10, 11 ties
- Postseason History: Florida 1-0 (2023 ECF)
- Up Next for the Panthers: Sunday vs. Chicago, 1 p.m.