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The second period of Saturday’s Game 3, a 6-1 Capitals win, might have been the best example of a reason why the team leads the Panthers 2-1 in their first-round series.
With the Panthers pressing and the Capitals on their heels, they got goals from forward Marcus Johansson and defenseman Trevor van Riemsdyk to take a two-goal lead into the second intermission. But their balanced scoring hasn’t been just from one game.
That, among other factors, has helped carry the Capitals to their series lead with an opportunity to take a commanding 3-1 series lead on Monday night.
“You need that,” defenseman John Carlson said. “One line or one guy can carry you for a little bit of time — a game or a period. But if you want to win in the playoffs you have to have everybody.”
Through three games, 16 of the 20 different players that have dressed for the Capitals this series have recorded at least one point, and seven of those players have two or more points. Only defensemen Nick Jensen and Martin Fehervary have played in all three games and still not recorded a point. Connor McMichael and Brett Leason don’t have a point, though they played in just a single game.
Ten different players have scored a goal, with T.J. Oshie being the only player that has recorded more than one tally.
The team’s power play has been humming along at 4-of-12 (33%) for the series, as four different players (Oshie, Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and Tom Wilson) have scored with the team on the man-advantage.
"I think it's really important," coach Peter Laviolette said of the balanced scoring. "You go out there, try to play a game plan, try and play a style and a system that doesn't change from line to line. It's good when you get contributions from everybody and everybody's chipping in."
A year ago in their five-game series against the Bruins, the Capitals had just seven different goal scorers. They had 14 different point-getters.
Now against the Presidents' Trophy-winning Panthers, the Capitals are getting exactly the scoring they need at exactly the right time.
All first-round games of Capitals vs. Panthers will be available regionally on NBC Sports Washington and streamed live on the MyTeams app.