Washington, May 6 (U.S.): The rebound game the Florida Panthers needed began, perhaps fittingly, with a puck puck taking an occasional jump. Blast here. Explosion there. And just like that, the series is restricted.
Alexander Barkoff and Carter Verhagje scored a goal and assist, and the Panthers beat the Washington Capitals 5-1 Thursday night to reach the first round of the Eastern Conference in one game.
Aaron Eckblad, Anton Lundell and Mason Marshman also scored goals for Florida, the top seed in the Stanley Cup playoffs. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 26 rounds.
Niklas Backstrom’s record for Washington. Vitek Vanecek conceded five goals on 19 shots in the first two periods, and Ilya Samsonov netted the Capitals for the third half – stopping all 17 shots he faced in the last 20 minutes.
The series is moving to Washington, with Game 3 on Saturday and Game 4 on Monday night, according to the AP.
It was Florida’s sixth win in its last 19 homegrown playoffs dating back to 1996, and it achieved the largest margin of victory in franchise playoff history.
Florida beat Boston 6–2 in Game Two of the first round of the 1996 playoffs, the season the Panthers went to the Stanley Cup Final, and they won 5–1 at Pittsburgh later that season in the Eastern Conference.