On Wednesday, the Panthers erased a three-goal deficit and scored five straight to beat the Capitals 5-3, bringing them within a win of their first playoff series victory in 26 years.
Florida, who dominated the NHL in scoring (4.11 GF/G) and won the Presidents’ Trophy, has made a habit of epic come-from-behind victories.
The Panthers led the league with 29 comeback wins, and last night was their sixth three-goal comeback (regular season and playoffs), the most in a single season ever.
Carter Verhaeghe — a No. 82 pick who’s currently making only $1 million — was a big reason.
- Verhaeghe scored two goals in the win and notched a point on all five, setting a new franchise record.
- The 26-year-old is the first player in franchise history to score five goals in a playoff series and is tied with Colorado’s Cale Makar for most points this postseason (10).
- He notched career highs across the board in the regular season (24 G, 31 A, 55 P).
- He is already outperforming the three-year, $12.5 million extension ($4.2M AAV) he signed last summer that kicks in next season.
Verhaeghe was a minor contributor to the Lightning’s 2020 title run before leaving for the other Florida-based team, but he’ll have a huge hand in anything the Panthers do in these playoffs.
His chances to win a championship with the Panthers are looking good: They have the second-best odds (+500) to lift the Cup behind the Avalanche (+200).