Panthers Steamroll Caps in a 5-1 Win

Posted May 5, 2022

At least Nicklas Backstrom had a goal. (Caps Outsider)

As expected, the Panthers came back strong in game 2. A lucky bounce off of Martin Fehervary and a slick pass from Jonathan Huberdeau was all it took to tilt the ice in the Panthers’ favor, despite the Caps skating a fantastic first 16 minutes.  Once the second period got rolling, Nicklas Backstrom scored short side beauty to give the fans a glimmer of hope.

And almost immediately it was snatched away.

Throughout the 2nd period, the Panthers continued to pour it on. The Caps’ flaws in this game were glaring, particularly in one area tonight. Goaltending. Through the second period (I’m writing this at 2nd intermission, THATS how dead I think this game is) Vitek Vanacek has given up 5 goals on 18 shots. On multiple occasions he just got beat by the shooter, which, as an NHL goaltender, simply cannot happen (shocking, I know). It wouldn’t surprise me to see Ilya Samsonov get some play in the third to warm up for game 3.

(look who was right)

The Panthers continued to generate opportunities through turnovers, the Caps finished with 21 giveaways to the Panthers six. Not something you can exactly afford to do against the President Trophy winners.

The Panthers revved up the physicality in the third as the Caps seemed to roll over and die. In the third period alone, the Caps were outshot 17-3 . Credit to Sammy for pitching a shutout in the third, hopefully that’s a nice warm up for Saturday.

As for me, I’m doing a heavy amount of research into the effect of wildfires on ice rinks, and so far, the results aren’t good. The Caps haven’t played near one in a long time, or ever (to my knowledge) and the Panthers have the benefit of already being used to playing on a terrible surface. Time to regroup and get ready for the matinee on Saturday. The building is going to be bumping, the vibes will be high. This team will need them energy and I have a feeling the fans are going to bring it. In the words of our great captain.

See you Saturday. #LetsGoCaps