Florida Panthers at FLA Live Arena — Courtesy: Shutterstock — YES Market Media
The Florida Panthers were just on a charter plane pointed south with the team preparing themselves for what will be a battle in Sunrise, Florida on Wednesday evening.
The Panthers were dangerously close to being eliminated had Sam Reinhart not pulled them away from the edge with a game-tying goal with only 2:04 left on Monday night.
That move allowed Carter Verhaeghe to become just the fourth player from the Sunshine State to ever win a playoff game in overtime–two were in 1996, and the other was Ryan Lomberg–as the Panthers tied things up with an exhilarating 3-2 win in Game 4.
Now, the Panthers have the chance to turn things around with a win on Wednesday night.
Claude Giroux was asked whether playing for the Panthers is as fun as it looks.
“Well, we’re winning,” he said. “So, yeah.”
Giroux, 34, had a perfect NHL trade deadline transformation, going from the draft lottery-bound Philadelphia Flyers to the Florida Panthers, who were recently the recipients of the Presidents’ Trophy for the regular season’s best record.
“You kinda learn how to manage your ice time. When to go and when to rest,” Giroux told ESPN recently. “It definitely took me a couple of games. It’s a high pace. It’s about supporting each other, knowing where your teammates are. When you get used to it, your job becomes a little easier. But it was definitely an adjustment.”
Also a knockout in the game, Verhaeghe was part of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s 2020 Stanley Cup championship team–but he is a much larger part of what the Panthers are currently doing.
On Monday night, Verhaeghe was a playoff hero.
The Panthers needed to show some extra resilience in Game 4–and they certainly did.
Lars Eller and Jonathan Huberdeau were batting at the net in front of Ilya Samsonov, and the Washington Capitals believed there was goalie interference on the game-winning goal.
The officials examined it and were not convinced.
The series is now a best-of-three, with the Capitals visiting Sunrise tonight for the game tomorrow. With Washington’s Game 4, there’s plenty to unpack.
The Caps anticipated a desperate Panthers squad, and got the complete opposite.
NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS
PANTHERS V. CAPITALS (TIED 2-2)
- Game 5: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m.
- Where: FLA Live Arena, Sunrise
- TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, ESPN2
- Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
- Tickets: CLICK HERE
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Chris began his writing as a hobby while attending Florida Southern College in Lakeland, Florida. Today he and his wife live in the Orlando area with their three children and dog.