Panthers oust Capitals in Game 6 for 1st series win since 1996
The Florida Panthers eliminated the Washington Capitals with a 4-3 overtime victory in Game 6 on Friday and secured their first series win in 26 years.
Carter Verhaeghe scored the winner at the 2:46 mark of the extra frame to end the club's lengthy postseason drought. The Panthers had lost six consecutive first-round series after reaching the Stanley Cup Final in 1996.
Verhaeghe had a massive series, posting six assists and six goals, including two overtime winners.
The Presidents' Trophy-winning Panthers trailed the series 2-1 but won three straight - all in comeback fashion - to seal it. Florida will play the winner of Saturday's Game 7 between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Tampa Bay Lightning in the second round. As the top seed in the conference, Florida has home-ice advantage regardless of its opponent.
Game 6 was a dramatic affair. The Capitals led 2-1 in the third period before Claude Giroux and Aleksander Barkov scored consecutive goals to give Florida the lead with just over five minutes left in regulation. However, T.J. Oshie scored on a mad scramble in front of Sergei Bobrovsky with 1:03 remaining to send the game to overtime.
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