The Florida Panthers ended their 24 season streak without reaching the second round of the National League playoffs on Friday in Washington. They defeated the Capitals 4-3 in overtime in Game 6 of their series, eliminating their opponents in the process.
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It’s only the second time in franchise history that the Panthers have made it to the first round. The organization, which entered the Pittman Arena in 1993, also achieved this feat in 1996. It even reached the Stanley Cup Final at that time.
It was Carter Verhaghi who finally turned his people over. He took advantage of Claude Giroud’s throw in front of Ilya Samsonov’s net, before hitting the latter with a backhand shot.
The critical scorer was also in danger of losing this match, having collected five points in his fifth duel. After his team’s morning training, his team manager, Andrew Brunot, said Verheig had an undisclosed injury and that his condition would be reassessed during the warm-up session. His presence was significant in the end, as he finished the first round with six goals and made many assists.
The Panthers will now have to wait before finding out who their opponent is in the next round. They will face the winner of the final match between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jiro .’s contribution
Acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers the day before the trade deadline, Jiro finally had a big part in this crucial duel.
Late in the third inning, he was also complicit in the net past Alexander Barkov, who gave the visitors a 3-2 lead. It was also he who tied 2-2, about six minutes before Barkov’s success, with a shot between Samsonov’s towels.
The Capitals looked set to be eliminated after 60 minutes of the match when Gustav Forsling was awarded a penalty with 69 seconds left. Just six seconds later, TJ O’Shea took advantage of a jumping puck to sow hysteria at the Capital One Arena.
Niklas Backstrom and Nick Dodd also hit the target for crowd favorites.
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