SUNRISE, Fla. -- It was the Florida Panthers' biggest test in a slew of big tests to start the season.
And they let it slip away against the Washington Capitals.
A two-goal lead -- one that came after falling behind less than 30 seconds into regulation -- vanished midway through the second period.
Another lead faded early in the third period.
And they missed on their one chance in overtime.
In the end, it was a 5-4 loss to the Capitals on Thursday at the BB&T Center.
Tom Wilson scored the game-winning goal 17 seconds into the three-on-three, sudden death overtime period.
"We had a real good start to the game. We did some good things," Panthers coach Joel Quenneville said. " ... As the game got deeper, we didn't have the puck as much as we did (early on). ... And that's a dangerous team."
Even in the loss, Florida had another solid showing against one of the NHL's best early in the season.
Thursday was the Panthers' 10th game against a team that entered the day in Stanley Cup Playoffs positioning. Florida is 4-2-4 in those games.