Capitals

Capitals drop to 0-4 in overtime this season with loss to Panthers

Capitals

The Florida Panthers won a wild game on Thursday at FLA Live Arena as Eetu Luostarinen netted the overtime winner in a 5-4 game. 

Here are some takeaways from a wild affair in Florida:

Overtime remains unkind to Capitals

The Capitals are now 0-4 on the season in the extra frame, as four of their five losses have come in overtime. They are now 5-1-4 on the season, meaning they've earned points in nine of their first 10 games. 

Still, that won't sit well with the Capitals who have come just a few bounces away from a far better record to start the first eighth of the season.

The Capitals didn't control the puck for much time at all in the extra frame, as the Panthers made quick work and netted the winner just 1:55 in.

Ovechkin continues scoring

Alex Ovechkin is apparently impervious to aging. 

The 36-year-old scored his 10th goal of the season (and 740th all-time) with a tally late in the second period. He’s the NHL’s leading goal scorer at 36-years-old and now is just one goal away from tying Brett Hull for 4th all-time on the NHL’s goal-scoring list. 

The Capitals’ captain has scored in his 18th season like he did in his first, and he continues to climb up the all-time rankings list with (literally) each game he plays.

Samsonov switch

Ilya Samsonov was supposed to start Thursday’s game but just before puck drop, it was Vitek Vanecek in net for the Capitals. That only lasted for just a few minutes before Samsonov entered the net.

 

Samsonov played a total of 25:31 and stopped 15 of 18 shots before leaving the net after the Panthers made the game 3-1. Vanecek replaced him, for the second time of the night, and finished as the Capitals’ goalie of record. He made 13-of-15 saves in his time in the net.

Coach Peter Laviolette will address the issue with Samsonov not starting the game, as well as the potential issue during the game, with reporters at his postgame press conference. 

Bobrovsky leaves after first period

The goalie carousel wasn’t just spinning for the Capitals, though. Panthers goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was excellent in the first period, stopping all 13 of the Capitals shots sent his way. But despite not showing signs of any injury, he wasn’t in his net to start the second period. 

Bobrovsky was later declared questionable to return with an upper-body injury and did not re-enter the game. Prior to Thursday, he was 6-0-0 with a .944 save percentage and a 1.81 goals against average. 

In his place came Spencer Knight, who stopped 25-of-29 shots in the final 40 minutes of game time. 

McMichael’s first

Connor McMichael found his way onto the scoresheet in his eighth game of the season (and ninth NHL game) on a quick wrister from the left side of Panthers goalie Knight.

McMichael had played well in the beginning of his rookie season, but still hadn’t found the net prior to Thursday. Now, he’s got a big milestone in his pocket at the outset of his NHL career. He was the fourth rookie to score his first career goal for the Capitals this season. 

Capitals lose Anthony Mantha

The Capitals were without Anthony Mantha for the second half of Thursday’s game with what was diagnosed as an upper body injury. Mantha played just 7:03 before leaving the game.

The team just got Nic Dowd back from injury, but is already missing T.J. Oshie and Nicklas Backstrom for injuries described as “week-to-week.” If Mantha has to miss extended time, the Capitals will be without three top six forwards. 

It’s unclear when or how he suffered the injury.