Panthers beat Capitals in OT for first series win since 1996

Panthers beat Capitals in OT for first series win since 1996

WASHINGTON (AP) — Jonathan Huberdeau couldn’t remember what it was like to be on the smiling side of a handshake line.

The feelings were so strong after he and the Florida Panthers beat the Washington Capitals 4-3 in overtime on Friday night to win Game 6 and advance to the second round that Huberdeau wants to repeat it over and over again.

“We didn’t know how he felt,” he said. “Now we might as well go all the way.”

That’s a long way off, but getting out of the first round was a big first step for the Presidents Trophy winners who won the franchise’s first playoff series since 1996. Ending that drought at age 26 required bouncing back from the Capitals tying the score with 1:03 left in regulation and getting another great goal from top scorer Carter Verhaeghe 2:46 into extra time to move on.

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