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The Drive For Five

The Caps aim for their first winning streak of five games in 2016-17.

by Mike Vogel @VogsCaps / Monumental Sports Network

Last season, the Washington Capitals manufactured five winning streaks of at least five games in length, with the longest being a nine-game run in December and the last one a five-game spree from Feb. 4-11. 

With the Florida Panthers in town to provide the opposition on Saturday night at Verizon Center, the Caps aim for their first winning streak of five games in 2016-17. 

Both teams come into tonight's game on the heels of 4-3 overtime victories on home ice on Thursday night. Washington frittered away a three-goal lead in the third period, but prevailed on Alex Ovechkin's 18th career overtime game-winner, a one-time blast from his left dot office on the Washington power play. 

Florida bested the New Jersey Devils, getting the overtime game-winner from Vincent Trocheck. 

Tonight's meeting between the Caps and Panthers is the second of three between the two sides this season, and the last one until Game 82. Washington will host the Cats in the season finale for both teams on April 9. The Panthers are the first Eastern Conference club the Caps are facing for the second time this season. 

Sixteen days ago in Florida, the Caps downed the Panthers by a 4-2 count. Washington rolled out to a 2-0 lead - as it has done in seven of its last eight games - only to lose that lead and head into the third period with the score even at 2-2. Ovechkin supplied what would prove to be the game-winner, and Marcus Johansson chipped in with a key insurance tally in the game's penultimate minute, giving the Caps their third straight victory.

"They're a good team," says Caps center Jay Beagle of the Panthers. "They're real aggressive, and they come at you hard. They are a fast, shifty team. They love turnovers, they feed off that and they come at you hard. So we've just got to make sure that we limit our turnovers, get it behind their [defense] and when they do get the puck, make them come 200 feet because it takes away from a lot of their rush game. But they're a good team, they work hard and they will make you pay if you're turning the puck over in the neutral zone." 

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