Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Panthers Down Caps in Longest Shootout in NHL History

You may or may not be a fan of the NHL skills competition, but whatever your views on the subject you'd have a pretty tough time denying that tonight's 20-frame shooutout victory for the Florida Panthers over the Washington Capitals was anything but epic (see video above).

Per the NHL, before Nick Bjugstad notched the game winner in the 20th frame, a few records were shattered:

"I've never seen anything like that," Panthers goalie Roberto Luongo said. "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."

Luongo also took to Twitter to share his excitement with fans on social media:

Rumor has it that this stressed-out fan also blacked out, but we have no official word yet...

The Panthers must have known luck was on their side when Sean Bergenheim, previously 0-9 in shootouts, scored to keep his team alive in the 11th frame.

Florida needed a goal to stay alive five times in total, and each time they were able to find a way to put one past losing goalie Braden Holtby.

“Definitely wasn’t fun to be a part of it,” Holtby said, according to the Washington Post. “Being on the end that, I just had to make a save when the game was on the line numerous times and I didn’t, that’s not a fun spot to be in. I thought we showed a lot of character, kept battling, got some big goals from some unlikely guys. That’s just a spot where I’d like to make a save and reward those guys.”

Finally, Nick Bjugstad put an end to festivities in the 20th frame as he deked then faded out to the forehand side before sailing a wrister past the fatigued Capitals netminder.

While Holtby and the Caps felt shame, Florida Panthers and their fans felt pride. They headed to the exit cheering "Let's Go Panthers" at full throat:

The Capitals were also on the losing end of the previous record for longest shootout. They dropped a 3-2, 15-frame shootout loss to the Rangers in 2005.