Cats chase Vanecek from his cage in Game Two victory: Panthers beat Capitals 5-1

The Washington Capitals dominated the Florida Panthers in Game One and picked up a deserved 4-2 victory. Could they put all the pressure in the world on the Cats and take two from them in Sunrise?

Aaron Ekblad got quite the lucky bounce to open the scoring late in the first. Jonathan Huberdeau put one right on a platter for Sasha Barkov to make it two. Nicklas Backstrom cut the lead in half with a power play strike. Mason Marchment, Anton Lundell, and Carter Verhaeghe responded with three more for the Panthers in a not-fun second period.

Nothing from either side in the third.

Panthers beat Capitals 5-1. Series now tied 1-1.

  • Man, the Caps played absolutely lights out in the first period and the hockey gods were just not shining down on them. They should have left that period up two goals and not down two. Really would have loved to see TJ Oshie finish off that shorthanded chance. Not worth crying over spilled milk, the process was definitely there and really encouraging.
  • I wasn’t impressed by John Carlson on either first period goals against. The first one he’s soft on the puck and spins it up the boards straight to Barkov. The second one he’s doing some sort of spinning top impression as Huberdeau walks around him.
  • You know what the 2018 Cup run really did for me? Show me just how random this gosh darn postseason process is. Once you come to terms with that, things feel a lot lighter while watching. Also, they won that year. Just a reminder. That was cool and fun.
  • The second period was much more like the Panthers that just blitzed the absolute mess out of teams in the regular season. The Caps got put back on their heels and just couldn’t get a save to stop them from falling over.
  • The guy responsible for those missed saves was Vitek Vanecek who was just simply brutal on two of the goals in the second. The Caps just cannot rely on either of their goaltenders for more than what feels like five minutes at a time. Can they do the trade deadline again real quick?
  • I’m glad TBS had former NHL official Stéphane Auger on the broadcast to tell us that an obviously slash that broke TJ Oshie’s stick right before Verhaeghe’s goal was a tough call to make since the stick didn’t explode into seventeen pieces.
  • You can say “only one or two of those goals were on Vanecek” all you want but how many games this season have you said that? There were goaltenders available in late March. Would the Caps have had to pay a pretty price that made it not worthwhile for them? Neither of us knows that for sure so let’s not act as if we do.
  • The third period was basically a “yea, you can have this one” from the Caps. They didn’t do much.
  • I’m gonna be that toxic hockey guy for a second. Patric Hornqvist does not throw that hit on Marcus Johansson if Tom Wilson is playing in this game.
  • Hoping both Trevor van Riemsdyk and TJ Oshie are alright after both of them got up slow during the third period. Would be a horrible double whammy if the Caps lose players from this game.

See you right back here for Game Three on Saturday. Let’s hope the ole home barn is absolutely rocking and the Caps can protect their building.

Screenshot via TBS

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