The previous time Washington was in Sunrise, the Panthers got the victory in an NHL-record 20-round shootout.
Thanks in part to new overtime rules implemented this year, Saturday night’s game between those two didn’t last quite as long.
For Florida, the result wasn’t as sweet either as Evgeny Kuznetsov scored with 1:16 left in overtime to lift the Capitals to a 2-1 victory.
Kuznetsov’s goal came with the new 3-on-3 overtime, which was put in to help eliminate many shootout results.
Florida is 0-2 in overtime this season, with its loss in Pittsburgh coming when it was down a man and played 3-on-4 against the Penguins.
“It was a one-goal game the whole way, and there were some tough breaks,” said goalie Al Montoya, who was stellar in making 25 saves.
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“The goal they scored intially, who knows if it was. Then we go 3-on-3 and they end up on top.”
Florida led 1-0 when Jussi Jokinen scored on a strange play early in the second as he whiffed on a slap-shot attempt as the puck took a weird bounce on the ice.
That odd knuckler, however, found its way back onto Jokinen’s stick, and he poked it past Philipp Grubauer 2:47 into the second.
Unfortunately for the Panthers, that was all their scoring as they have scored just two goals in their past two losses.
Jaromir Jagr, perhaps not coincidentally, has missed both games.
“I swung first, didn’t hit the puck, but did enough,” Jokinen said. “We played good for two periods, think we sat back in the third. We had enough chances in the first and second to get two, three goals. Their goalie was good.”
Washington, which has won seven of its past eight games, tied the score when Jay Beagle got a piece of the puck as Montoya appeared to be interfered with by Justin Williams.
Panthers coach Gerard Gallant used his challenge — also new this season — but after a long review, the NHL decided there was no interference on Montoya.
Both Gallant and his goalie disagreed with the ruling.
“They’re tough calls, and that’s what rules are all about,” Gallant said. “They obviously took a long time to make the call, so it was tough. I’m not faulting anyone. I like the system in place.”
Said Montoya: “I almost made it with a guy on me … it’s a quick game, obviously. We move on.”
▪ With Jagr missing for a second game, the Panthers went to their AHL team in Portland, Maine, for the second time this week and called up Rocco Grimaldi on Saturday.
Grimaldi was penciled in on the Florida roster in training camp, but an ankle injury in the first week kept him off the ice for most of the preseason.
Logan Shaw, the first call-up of the week, made his NHL debut in Friday’s loss to the Bruins and was scratched on Saturday.
Center Sasha Barkov (hand) was placed on injured reserve to make room for Grimaldi.
“I got the call around midnight, and I’m excited about the opportunity,” Grimaldi said.
▪ Defenseman Alex Petrovic’s block of an Alex Ovechkin shot led to Jokinen’s goal, but Petrovic ended up leaving the game early. Petrovic had X-rays — Gallant said they were negative — after leaving quickly after the third period started.