Not without being annoyed by the Washington Capitals in the first round, the Florida Panthers are now just one victory away from winning their first playoff series in more than a quarter century.
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Indeed, you have to go back to 1996, 26 years ago, to trace a Florida victory. The Panthers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals to advance to the Stanley Cup Grand Final, losing to the Colorado Avalanche.
Verhaeghe's five points, two goals and three assists, is a Panthers record for a playoff game. Not surprisingly, since the Florida team has won only three series since joining the NHL in 1993-1994, all three during the famous 1996 run.
A careful trainer
If Verhaeghe is optimistic, Panthers head coach Andrew Brunette warns that nothing is won against the Capitals yet.
“It took time to get us started, he also analyzed after the fifth game, during which Washington led by the score of 3 to 0 at the start of the second period. You have to give them the credit, they played well, but we weren't so invested at the start for some reason, which is concerning.
Game 6 of the series is now scheduled in Washington on Friday. The Panthers had better not celebrate too quickly. The team is far from having won the series against the Capitals and still very, very far from a possible revenge against the Colorado Avalanche in the Stanley Cup final, as in 1996. For the time being, the Avalanche minimally advanced to the second round after sweeping the Nashville Predators in four games.