If there’s a bright side to the 7-1 pistol whipping the Florida Panthers took from the Washington Capitals Thursday night was the news that the now NHLPA-approved realignment plan would mean less trips to the Verizon Center. Outside of that, the game was a complete disaster that saw the Capitals take a 4-0 advantage less than nine minutes into the first period. Goals from John Erskine and former Panther Wojtek Wolski chased starting netminder Jacob Markstrom (the only two shots he faced) 3:10 into the game.
From there, it was open season on Scott Clemmensen as he allowed five goals over the final 56:29, not that he was getting much help in front of him. John Carlson, Mike Ribeiro, Alex Ovechkin, Eric Fehr, and Matthew Perreault each scored a goal as eleven different Caps recorded points on the night. Jack Skille added a third period goal to at least spoil Braden Holtby’s shutout bid.
Strachan received a five minute major and a game misconduct for the hit which led to the Ovechkin goal.
No way to sugar coat it, this night was embarrassing from the opening face off. And by virtue of a Columbus Blue Jackets overtime win over the Vancouver Canucks, the Panthers have the distinction of sitting the 30th spot in the NHL. They’ll get a quick chance to jump back out of the spot as they’ll host the Winnipeg Jets, the team they looked so good against earlier in the week, on Friday. Perhaps getting the slew on injured players back from injury will help this team in its consistency but, this is where the Panthers stand half way through the regular season, 30th place.
To take your mind off of the loss, here’s KISS on The Mike Douglas Show circa 1974 which is just as awkward as sitting through this game. If you weren’t alive back then, this is what the 70’s looked like, kids:
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