WASHINGTON, D.C. — As the Florida Panthers took over the ice to congratulate Carter Verhaeghe on his overtime winner, Peter Laviolette and the Washington Capitals waited on the bench, arguing to the officials that there was goaltender interference on the goal.
Verhaeghe drove into the offensive zone and fired a shot on goal, which Ilya Samsonov stopped while surrendering a rebound. As Samsonov recovered, Jonathan Huberdeau and Lars Eller were battling as Huberdeau crashed the net. As both went into Samsonov, who fell back, Verhaeghe fired home his own rebound top shelf to win the game in sudden-death overtime.
AND THIS SERIES IS TIED 💥
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After a rather quick review and chat with the situation room, it was deemed a good goal, sending the Capitals and Panthers back to Sunrise with the series tied 2-2.
Laviolette was less than thrilled with the result and shared his perspective and what he was told postgame.
“I’m not sure what it is,” Laviolette said. “They said that Lars helped [Huberdeau] in there. I thought Lars was trying to get him out of there. A goaltender’s got to be able to make a save.”
READ MORE ON WHN: Takeaways As Capitals Fall To Panthers In OT, Head Back To Sunrise Tied
It was a sour end to a tough night for Washington, who was leading 2-1 late in the third period. With just over two minutes left in regulation, Sam Reinhart tied it, and then, minutes into OT, Verhaeghe sealed the deal, robbing the Capitals of a 3-1 series lead.
Despite three goals against, Samsonov had a strong night, coming up with 29 saves on 32 shots (.906 save percentage). He also made some tremendous stops to keep Washington in it. The Capitals didn’t get much going in terms of offense, managing just 16 shots on the night.