There is nothing like a battle of two teams sitting below the .500 mark in the National Hockey League. That sort of game happened Tuesday night with the 3-8-1 Washington Capitals facing the 4-6-1 Florida Panthers. Jonathan Huberdeau scored twice, but Washington rallied late for a 6-5 overtime win on a Troy Brouwer goal. If there is any bright spot going on for Florida this season, it would have to be the rookie Huberdeau.
At just 19 years old, Huberdeau has scored five times in the first quarter of the year for Florida and appears to be starting to get his legs under him scoring with four goals in his last six games. This is a season that can be saved for the Panthers if players like Huberdeau can keep scoring in bunches. Washington has been very disappointing this year and faces a total rebuild at some point because losing as much as they are this season isn’t acceptable. Washington needs a young player like Huberdeau on their roster, but that just doesn’t appear to be happening.
Florida needed another big season after making the playoffs last year, but has had issues for the first quarter of their season in winning and getting good goaltending. Hopefully that stops now, but losses like this one inside the Southeast Division won’t get the Panthers back in the playoff race. It was a solid night in net for Scott Clemmensen up until the last five minutes of regulation and overtime. Clemmensen and Jose Theodore have to be better in net and hope that Huberdeau and others keep scoring or this will become a very long season in Florida.