PANTHERS PUSH CAPS TO OT AND WIN 5-4
By Mary Cunningham
Mike Hoffman scored the winning goal on the power play in overtime and Roberto Luongo made 26 saves to help the Florida Panthers beat the visiting Capitals 5-4.
With Brett Connolly in the penalty box for slashing late in regulation, Hoffman scored 1:31 into overtime. Florida has the NHL’s top power play since Nov. 1.
Derrick Brassard scored his second goal in four games since Florida acquired him in a deal with Pittsburgh on Feb. 1. Moved up to the top line against the defending Stanley Cup champions, Brassard was one of the better players on the ice as the Panthers bounced back from blowing a two-goal lead to win their second in a row and sixth in their past eight games.
Frank Vatrano, Keith Yandle and Colton Sceviour also scored for Florida, which is back in the race in the Eastern Conference because of its recent run. The Panthers still have three teams between them and a playoff position in the conference and might need 12 out of 14 points on their upcoming homestand to stay in it ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.
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