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The Florida Panthers will look to put away the Washington Capitals in this Game Six matchup. This has been an interesting series, with only one game (Game Four) being decided by one goal. The Capitals came out hot in Game One and won 4-2 behind Vitek Vanecek’s 30 saves. However, the Panthers crushed the Capitals in Game Two 5-1; six different Panthers scored in that game. Game Three was also high-scoring, except this time in favor of the Capitals. Washington won 6-1, and Ilya Samsonov saved 30 of 31 shots. Games Four and Five were in favor of the Panthers. Florida won Game Four 3-2 in overtime behind a Carter Verhaeghe goal. Game Five ended in regulation with a 5-3 score. Florida scored two third-period goals to propel themselves to victory.
The Florida Panthers were one of the most dominant teams during the regular season and averaged an astounding 4.11 goals per game. Their defense could use some work, but the Panther’s offensive firepower makes up for it.
The Florida Panthers have had an unlikely hero in the Playoffs. That unlikely hero goes by the name of Carter Verhaeghe. Verhaeghe performed well during the season (24 goals, 31 assists), but he has transformed into a scoring machine in this series. He leads the Panthers in points (10), goals (5), and assists (5). The most impressive part of Verhaeghe’s game is that he has five goals on 13 shots.
In addition to Carter Verhaeghe, Aleksander Barkov has been productive on the ice. He has one goal, four assists, and a +/- of 6. One Panthers’ star has been awfully quiet in the Playoffs. Jonathan Huberdeau, an All-Star, had 115 points during the season but only has three through the first five games. This will likely not be a problem for the rest of this series, but the Panthers need Huberdeau to return to form in the Second Round.
How can I talk about the Panthers without mentioning Sergei Bobrovsky? Bobrovsky has not been outstanding in this series, but he has been good enough. With that being said, he may have to step up his game in the upcoming rounds.
The Washington Capitals have shown flashes of dominance in this series but have generally been outmatched.
T.J. Oshie has had an impressive showing against the Panthers. He has five goals on 15 shots. He has spent a lot of his time on the ice with Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin has played well but only has one goal.
The Capitals have a dicey goaltending situation. Ilya Samsonov has become the starter in the Playoffs, but Vitek Vanecek is also getting playing time. Samsonov has played better, but there are many more elite goaltenders in this league.
The Panthers are the superior team and won the last two games, so I will pick them to win 4-2.
|58-18-6 (1st in Atlantic Division)
|44-26-12 (4th in Metropolitan Division)
|Carter Verhaeghe (10)
|T.J. Oshie (6)
|Carter Verhaeghe (5)
|T.J. Oshie (5)
|Carter Verhaeghe (5)
|Alex Ovechkin (5)
|Gustav Forsling (9)
|Trevor van Riemsdyk (2)
|Aleksander Barkov (4.20)
|Shots (Per Game)
|Alex Ovechkin (3.60)
The Florida Panthers have proven they are the better team but will only win this game if they avoid committing penalties and win the First Period.
The Panthers are getting destroyed on the penalty kill. They have committed 20 penalties and given up six goals on the kill. Clearly, their penalty kill unit is a liability, so the Panthers have to avoid bringing them out. If they do not commit penalties, the Capitals will have fewer scoring opportunities.
The Panthers have the Capitals on the ropes. They will likely win the game if they come out with energy and lead at the end of the First Period.
The Washington Capitals are the underdogs but have shown that they can score. They will win if they limit the Panthers’ shots and get Alex Ovechkin more involved.
The Panthers are averaging 33.6 shots a game in this series. This is not an absurd amount of shots, but it is too many. The Capitals’ defense has to step up and limit the Panthers’ shooting.
Alex Ovechkin has played well in this series but has struggled to score goals; he only has one goal on 18 shots. Ovechkin must find a way to score in this game. His scoring is a crucial part of the Capitals’ offense.
Gustav Forsling is not an excellent hockey player. His stats do not stand out, but his impact on the ice is almost always positive.
Forsling leads both teams with a +/- of 9. He just needs to keep making the right plays.
Evgeny Kuznetsov has been very quiet in this series. He has two goals, two assists, and a +/- of -3.
Kuznetsov needs to improve his all-around play in this game. The Capitals cannot afford a slow game from him, so he must step up and play at his best.
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|Florida Panthers vs Washington Capitals Information
|Florida Panthers vs Washington Capitals
|Capital One Arena, Washington, DC
|Friday, May 13, 7:30 PM EST
|How to Watch
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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