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2021-22 ECQF: (1A) Florida Panthers vs. (2WC) Washington Capitals


Who wins?  

17 members have voted

  1. 1. Who wins?

    • Panthers in 4
      0
    • Panthers in 5
    • Panthers in 6
    • Panthers in 7
      0
    • Capitals in 4
      0
    • Capitals in 5
      0
    • Capitals in 6
    • Capitals in 7


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(1A) Florida Panthers vs. (2WC) Washington Capitals

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REGULAR SEASON STANDINGS:

Panthers: 58-18-6, 122 points 

Capitals: 44-26-12, 100 points

SEASON SERIES:

FLA 2-1-0; WAS 1-1-1

 


GAME BREAKERS:

Panthers: Huberdeau established himself as an elite offensive player during the regular season. He tied Johnny Gaudreau of the Calgary Flames for second in the League with an NHL career-high 115 points and led with 85 assists (also an NHL career high) in 80 games. He has scored 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) in 16 career playoff games, including 10 points (two goals, six assists) in six games during a first-round loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last season.

 

Capitals: Ovechkin was fourth in the NHL with 50 goals in 77 regular-season games, tying the League record shared by Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy with his ninth 50-goal season. The 36-year-old forward's 40 assists were his most since he had 53 in 2010-11 and his 90 points the most since he scored 109 in 2009-10. Ovechkin has never missed a playoff game in his 17-season NHL career and leads active players in goals with 71 in 141 postseason games.

 


GOALTENDING:

Panthers: Sergei Bobrovsky tied Andrei Vasilevskiy of the Tampa Bay Lightning for the NHL lead in wins (39-7-3) while posting a 2.67 goals-against average, .913 save percentage and three shutouts. But the two-time winner of the Vezina Trophy awarded to the NHL's top goalie (2012-13, 2016-17 as a member of the Columbus Blue Jackets) is 13-23 with a 3.24 GAA and .899 save percentage in 41 playoff games and has won one postseason series. Backup Spencer Knight (19-9-3, 2.79 GAA, .908 save percentage, two shutouts in his first full NHL season) started the final two games of Florida's first-round loss to Tampa Bay in 2021.

 

Capitals: Laviolette has yet to reveal a Game 1 starter between Ilya Samsonov (23-12-5, 3.02 GAA, .896 save percentage, three shutouts) and Vitek Vanecek (20-12-6, 2.67 GAA, .908 save percentage, four shutouts), who have been inconsistent. Vanecek started the playoff opener against the Boston Bruins as a rookie last season but injured his hamstring in the first period and missed the remainder of the series. Samsonov was 0-3 with a 2.99 GAA and .899 save percentage in that series.

 


X FACTORS:

Panthers: Claude Giroux was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers prior to the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline to add to Florida's offensive depth and bring playoff experience, which will be invaluable for a number of players who have never won a postseason series. Although the forward has never won the Stanley Cup, he reached the 2010 Stanley Cup Final with Philadelphia and he's scored 73 points (25 goals, 48 assists) in 85 playoff games.

 

Capitals: Forward Anthony Mantha missed nearly four months while recovering from shoulder surgery, but has played well since returning March 3, scoring 17 points (seven goals, 10 assists) in 27 games. Mantha's scoring from the third line could be a difference-maker for Washington in the playoffs.

 


WILL WIN IF:

Panthers: Their defense and Bobrovsky play well enough not to offset their advantage in scoring depth. The possibility of getting defenseman Aaron Ekblad back from a lower-body injury that has kept him out since March 18 will also help.

 

Capitals: Ovechkin is healthy enough to be effective, they play within their defensive structure and are able to wear down the Panthers with their forecheck and physical game. But none of that will matter if Washington's goalie allows a questionable goal or two a game.

 


MORE:

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  • Morphinity changed the title to 2021-22 ECQF: (1A) Florida Panthers vs. (2WC) Washington Capitals

I got Caps in seven.

- Curse of the Presidents Trophy

- Bob in net

- Those thrilling wins after being down 5-1 or 4-0 may work against the Devils and Sabres, but let the Caps get up big and they'll put you away.

- Experience

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1 hour ago, Stephen said:

Right Now, the Caps look flat (outside of that first line), I don't think they have the legs to keep up with this Panthers team going into the third.

 

Looks like they woke up. Just went up 3-1.

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Looks like another President's Trophy first round upset in the making...

Very unexpected but there's still plenty of hockey left in this one. FLA is easily capable of turning it on and wrapping up this series in 6. 

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On 5/7/2022 at 4:06 PM, Karan said:

Looks like another President's Trophy first round upset in the making...

Very unexpected but there's still plenty of hockey left in this one. FLA is easily capable of turning it on and wrapping up this series in 6. 

It probably won't Lightning getting swept by the Blue Jackets-level bad, but the Panthers have to get their game going tonight because the Cats are looking like I thought the Caps would be this series. 

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  • Phil unpinned this topic

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