SUNRISE (CBSMiami) – The Panthers are in position to win their first playoff series in 26 years.
Living up to their nickname the “Comeback Cats,” they pulled off a wild game 5 win, 5-3, before more than 20,000 fans at FLA Live Arena to take the series lead against Washington.
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Game 6 is in the nation’s capital Friday night. The Panthers would host game 7 Sunday, if necessary.
The Panthers trailed 3-0 24 minutes into the game. As they have done five times this season, they erased that deficit, scoring the next five goals over the next 28 minutes. The six comebacks from at least three goals down is an NHL record.
Carter Verhaeghe had the best playoff game by a player in team history with a 5-point game. He was the catalyst that jump started the comeback. Verhaeghe also scored the game 4 overtime goal that tied the series. He has 10 points in the series equaling the franchise record set by Jonathan Huberdeau last year. Verhaeghe set the team playoff record with 5 goals in a series. He’s earning his cool nickname.
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Leading 3 games to 2, this is the first time the Panthers have led a playoff series in 10 years. In 2012 they beat New Jersey in game 5, also at home, but lost the next two games in overtime.
Bob On The Job
Goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was outstanding after allowing the third goal. He stopped the last 20 shots to slam the door on the Capitals including multiple tough saves with the Panthers leading 4-3 in the third period.
Washington is 20-2 this season when they lead 3 goals or more. The 2 losses? To the Panthers, in South Florida, including game 5 of this series.
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Not sure how it’s materialized, but rapper Kodak Black has become a huge Panthers fan. He even traveled to Washington earlier in the series. The Panthers support is far reaching!