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Florida Panthers GameDay

Game 5 — Capitals at Panthers: Lineups, Betting Odds, How to Watch

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Before the Florida Panthers played the Washington Capitals on Monday night, coach Andrew Brunette said the lineup would remain the same.

It just did not look the same.

Brunette mixed things up going into Game 4 — shuffling his top three forward lines and top two defensive pairings.

It all seemed to work.

Florida’s defensive play was one of its best of the season as the Panthers split up Aaron Ekblad and MacKenzie Weegar.

That not only allowing Ben Chiarot to play with Ekblad for the first time, but reunited Weegar with Gus Forsling — a defensive pairing that played so well together when Ekblad has been injured.

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Florida held Washington to just 16 shots on goal and 37 shot attempts in its 3-2 overtime win which evened the best-of-7 series at two games each.

”It’s harder to change defensive pairings, especially in a playoff series,” Brunette said. “We thought we would give it a try — to give (Chiarot) a chance to finally play with Eky and get that feeling. I thought that was important and thought they played really well together. It brought part-heaviness and puck moving. … I thought they complimented each other very well.”

Mason Marchment did not skate Wednesday and it looks like Maxim Mamin gets back in.

Brunette said Marchment is a game-time decision and is dealing with a previous injury.

Sergei Bobrovsky made a terrific save on Marcus Johansson just before coming to the bench with 3:09 remaining on Monday, an aggressive move by Brunette which paid off.

Sam Reinhart was able to tie the score with 2:04 left as the Panthers had six skaters deep in the Washington zone.

“I was going to do it a little bit earlier. Thank God I didn’t,” Brunette said. “It’s one of those things where you flip a coin. Then there was icing and we got our group out there and I have a lot of trust in them that they’ll make something happen. They made things happen all years and it continued (Monday).”

With a laugh, Brunette admitted sometimes luck plays a hand.

“I don’t know anything,’’ he joked. “You take a chance and it worked out.”

As for Bobrovsky’s performance on Monday night?

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”He has been rock solid,” Brunette said. “He has been lasered in and laser focused. You can tell he is on it, has kept us in games by making big saves. He has given us the opportunity to be at 2-2.”

— Washington goalie Ilya Samsonov is now 1-1 with a 1.66 goals-against average and a .949 save percentage in his two-plus games in net.

In those games, Samsonov has a .967 save percentage at 5-on-5, which is the third-highest in the playoffs among goaltenders with at least two games played. Bobrovsky is at .922 in 5-on-5 play.

— Brunette said he thought Sam Bennett was OK after taking a high hit from T.J. Oshie — there was no fine — in the third period. Bennett did need stitches above his eye.

Although the league took no disciplinary action, Brunette “did not like” the hit.

”My opinion doesn’t really matter, but I didn’t like the hit,” he said. “I think it … yeah … I didn’t like it.”

Carter Verhaeghe became the first Florida player to score in regulation and overtime of a playoff game.

— Florida’s power play was 0-for-4 on Monday and is scoreless in 13 tries this postseason. Florida did get a lot of looks on the power play but still failed to score.

”I think we are a little bit snake-bitten,” Brunette said. “Power plays are funny things. I thought we have had some pretty good looks. If you had told me it was 0-for-13, I haven’t hated it. We have missed some pretty good opportunities, have been a little reluctant to attack more. That would be my complaint on that.

“It takes one. We’re getting looks and we’re getting close. It’s going to be an important factor here but we’re due. I think we get one and the floodgates will open up.”

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

ROUND 1

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 
  • Draft Kings odds — Florida favored: Money Line (-220); Puck line (-1.5, +100); Over/Under 6.5 (-125/+105); Series (-300)
  • Tickets: CLICK HERE

PANTHERS V. CAPITALS

PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP

Coach: Andrew Brunette

23 Carter Verhaeghe // 16 Sasha Barkov //  10 Anthony Duclair

11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 8 Sam Bennett // 28 Claude Giroux

98 Maxim Mamin // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart

55 Noel Acciari // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 70 Patric Hornqvist

8 Ben Chiarot // 5 Aaron Ekblad

42 Gus Forsling // 52 MacKenzie Weegar

7 Radko Gudas // 62 Brandon Montour

72 Sergei Bobrovsky

30 Spencer Knight

PP1: Reinhart – Barkov – Giroux – Huberdeau – Ekblad

PP2: Hornqvist – Bennett – Duclair – Marchment – Montour

Scratched: Lucas Carlsson, Petteri Lindbohm, Joe Thornton, Robert Hagg, Jonas Johansson, Ryan Lomberg, Mason Marchment

Injured: Markus Nutivaara (LTIR)

PROJECTED WASHINGTON CAPITALS LINEUP

Coach: Peter Laviolette

8 Alex Ovechkin // 92 Evgeny Kuznetsov // 77 T.J. Oshie

90 Marcus Johansson // 19 Nicklas Backstrom // 39 Anthony Mantha

24 Connor McMichael // 20 Lars Eller // 73 Conor Sheary

22 Johan Larsson // 26 Nic Dowd // 21 Garnet Hathaway

42 Martin Fehervary // 74 John Carlson

9 Dmitri Orlov // 3 Nick Jensen

57 Trevor van Riemsdyk // 2 Justin Schultz

30 Ilya Samsonov

41 Vitek Vanecek

PP1: Oshie – Backstrom – Kuznetsov – Ovechkin – Carlson

PP2: Johansson – Sheary – Mantha – Schultz – Orlov

Injured: Tom Wilson (d2d, LBI)

Washington Capitals lines courtesy WashingtonHockeyNow.Com

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ruthk191@gmail.com

Wow! Kucherov is busy with his forward duties with Tampa and tending goal for Washington! LOL We know you meant Samsonov.

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