Five power-play goals. In one game. Against a vaunted Lightning penalty kill.
That’s the line the Panthers put up Monday night, on the eve of their visit to Washington to face the Capitals.
Everyone knows Bruce Boudreau was watching.
“They were pretty quick. They made some good plays, good adjustments to what Tampa was doing,” a tight-lipped Boudreau said. “They had their mojo going last night, for sure.”
While most teams have a set style on the power play, it appeared that Florida was using different looks. Tampa Bay didn’t have any answers.
If Boudreau and the Caps have an explanation and a way of solving it, he’s not telling.
“I don’t want to get too technical about it,” Boudreau said. “They had the same setup but Tampa, they were being forced, so you move. There was a lot of movement going on.”
Most players admitted only watching highlights of Florida’s 7-4 victory, if anything at all.
“What we’ve seen so far is video,” defenseman Mike Green said. “They’re playing well and we have to make sure we meet their push.”
It’s a whole new deal with the Panthers: 12 new players, new coach Kevin Dineen and a couple different goalies.
“Different coach, different players than they’ve had before, so it’s going to be different,” Boudreau said. “You can’t go on last year’s notes and the pre-scouting. We’ll have to rely on video that we’ve seen of them.”
The Panthers have eight power-play goals in four games. It took 27 games to reach eight last season. They also had a short-handed goal and one even-strength against the Lightning.
And with so much turnover in Florida, the Caps know this is an offense that deserves respect. After all, the Panthers might be deeper than the Carolina Hurricanes.
“They brought in a lot of key additions, very offensive guys. Even on defense they brought in Brian Campbell and [Ed] Jovanovski – some good offensive D-men,” defenseman Jeff Schultz said. “It’s going to be a challenge not only for the PK but five-on-five out there.”
Speaking after the morning skate, the Caps hadn’t yet been briefed on what to do on the penalty kill. But players said that’s coming.
“I’m sure [assistant coach Dean Evason] will go over it with us before the game and address where they had success and what we want to try to limit or stop as best as we can,” forward Jeff Halpern said.