Panthers beat Capitals 3-2 in overtime to even playoff series


The Florida Panthers got an overtime goal from Carter Verhaeghe as they earned a 3-2 sudden victory win Monday over the Capitals in Game 4 at Capital One Arena. 

The series is now tied at 2-2 headed to Florida.

The Capitals escaped the Panthers’ push in the second period unscathed, but weren’t able to hold on the entire way as the league’s best offense scored when it counted most.

Florida tied the game late with 2:04 left to play, and may have saved their season in the process.

Game 5 is on Wednesday at 7:30 pm. Here are a few takeaways from Game 4:

Overtime winner

Verhaeghe lifted the Panthers to an overtime win with a snap shot with 15:03 left in the overtime period. 

The Capitals had pressed early in overtime, but the Panthers struck coming back the other way to completely change the tide of the series. 

Panthers tie it late

The Panthers tied the game with a Sam Reinhart goal that beat Ilya Samsonov just barely to tie the game at 2-2. 

Sergei Bobrovsky had been pulled from the Florida net with three minutes left to play and the Panthers answered less than a minute later. 

Kuznetsov lifts the Capitals in the third

With the game tied at 1-1 almost midway through the third period, Evgeny Kuznetsov took flight. 


He scored on a breakaway and, with his trademark bird celebration, single-handedly turned Capital One Arena into a madhouse. 

The goal pushed the Capitals ahead with more than half of the third period left to play, which was just a bit more time than Washington could handle. 

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Special teams shine for both sides

In the second period, and throughout the night, special teams were the name of the game. 

The Capitals’ penalty kill went four-of-four on the night as they pushed the Panthers to 0-for-13 in the series. And in the first period their power play gave them the first goal of the night to put them ahead 1-0. It was the team's fourth power play goal in four games. 

It's fair to say that special teams are a large reason why the Caps head to Florida with the series even. 

Samsonov earns second-straight start

The Capitals turned to Samsonov in net once again after his stellar performance in Game 3 on Saturday. And once again, he was excellent in the net. 

Samsonov stopped 29 of 32 Panthers shots sent his way as the netminder undoubtedly earned a start in Game 5. The crowd appreciated his efforts, especially in the second period, when chants of “Sammy! Sammy!” rang throughout the building. 

In that second period, shot attempts favored the Panthers 25-6 and shots favored them 12-4. But Samsonov stood tall and kept the Capitals in the game. 

Tom Wilson absent again

The Capitals were once again without Tom Wilson in the lineup, as he remains out with a lower-body injury

Coach Peter Laviolette said Monday that the injury was still of the day-to-day variety. His status for the remainder of the series is unknown. 

Whenever, if ever, Wilson returns to the lineup, the Capitals will certainly be in need of his return. 

All first-round games of Capitals vs. Panthers will be available regionally on NBC Sports Washington and streamed live on the MyTeams app.