The Panthers avoided a loss to the Washington Capitals Tuesday after their team endured the longest shootout in NHL history. Fans at the BB&T Center were going crazy as they watched closely a shootout that took almost as long as a regular period time, which is 20 minutes long.
— New Times Broward (@NewTimesBroward) December 17, 2014
On five separate occasions during the shootout, the Capitals scored, but each time a Panther responded with beautiful tying goal. After Washington’s superstar, Alexander Ovechkin, missed his second attempt, it left the door wide open for Panthers forward, Nick Bjugstad, who seized the opportunity.
Goalies Braden Holtby and Roberto Luongo both had an outstanding game. It looked like the battle was going to continue forever until Bjugstad finally put a snap-shot past Holtby in the 20th round, breaking the deadlock. Panthers goalie Luongo said:
“I’ve never seen anything like that. The great thing is I don’t know how many time guys bailed me out where they had to score to keep it alive, and they did every time. It was amazing.“
The Washington Capitals have felt this way before in 2005 when they were also on the losing end of the previous record-holding longest shootout. They experienced defeat in a 3-2 shootout loss to the skillful New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.
Credit is due to those Panthers players who scored when the goals were necessary to keep the team alive. Under significant pressure, Jussi Jokinen, Dave Bolland, Derek MacKenzie, Sean Bergenheim and Dylan Olsen each came through with must-make goals. Panthers forward Scottie Upshall said:
“Give credit to the guys who scored, especially with their backs up against the wall and [Luongo] making big saves when we needed him to, so, one for the record books. I think we’ve got to be proud about that one.”
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