Nicklas Backstrom was blunt and to the point following a disappointing night for the Washington Capitals in Sunrise, where the team went from leading 3-0 to allowing five unanswered goals in a loss to the Florida Panthers that has them on the brink of elimination.
The Swede didn’t offer too much postgame but was honest as he shared his thoughts on what went wrong for the club.
“Yeah, I felt like we gave that game away,” Backstrom said.
Backstrom, who has a point in four of five games this series, saw the Capitals go downhill after putting themselves in a clear position to go up 3-2 in the series heading back to D.C. Washington surrendered three goals in under five minutes in the second, and then gave up two more in the third in an eventual 5-3 defeat.
“Even if we let them back in the game, I mean, we were still in good position going into the third on the road here,” Backstrom explained. “So we had a chance but didn’t take advantage of it.”
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No. 19 also wouldn’t offer much insight into what he saw from his perspective when Carter Verhaeghe capitalized on breakdowns for his second goal of the game that helped put Florida in front early in the third.
“Yeah, what happened? You tell me,” he said.
When offered an explanation, he agreed, “Yeah, that’s what happened.”
The Capitals will not practice on Thursday before heading back to the District. From there, the Capitals will face off against the Panthers at home on Friday in a must-win Game 6. The puck drops at 7:30 p.m. as Washington will be tasked with staving off elimination and yet another first-round exit. This is the first series since 2019 that has gone past five games for the Capitals.