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Quick-strike Capitals defeat Panthers

Score three times in third period to rally for fifth win in row

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals scored three times in the third period to defeat the Florida Panthers 4-2 at Verizon Center on Saturday and extend their winning streak to five games.

Washington's three goals in the third period came on five shots in a span of 4:45.

"We knew if we're going to put pressure on their [defense] and have traffic in front of the net, we're going to get success," Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. "I think the guys do a great job and respond after a tough first period and you can see results."

T.J. Oshie had two goals, and Ovechkin and Lars Eller scored for the Capitals (8-2-1). Braden Holtby made 22 saves.

 

WATCH: All Panthers vs. Capitals highlights 

 

Jared McCann and Reilly Smith scored for the Panthers (5-6-1). Roberto Luongo made 32 saves.

"[Luongo] was outstanding," Panthers coach Gerard Gallant said. "The first period we played a great period on the road against a great team. The second period, he probably made five unbelievable saves to keep it close, and then, obviously, in the third period they got a couple goals there that we again made some mistakes on."

Ovechkin tied it 2-2 with his seventh goal of the season at 8:42 of the third period. He deflected defenseman Nate Schmidt's shot in front of Luongo. Oshie scored his second of the game, sixth of the season, at 10:58 to give Washington a 3-2 lead. Eller scored at 13:27 for a 4-2 lead.

Video: FLA@WSH: Ovechkin deflects Orpik's laser to tie it up

McCann scored at 5:17 of the first period to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. He tipped defenseman Alex Petrovic's shot for his first goal of the season.

Oshie tied it 1-1 at 10:40 of the second period. On a 2-on-1, Ovechkin sent a cross-ice feed to Oshie, whose shot bounced off the post by Luongo's left shoulder.

Smith scored on the power play at 2:32 of the third period for a 2-1 Panthers lead. He beat Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen on a rush down the right side and scored on a backhand.

 

Goal of the game

Oshie scored with a wrist shot off the rush to give the Capitals the lead.

Video: FLA@WSH: Oshie beats Luongo up high off rush

 

Save of the game

Holtby made a sprawling pad save to stop Vincent Trocheck on a give-and-go in the first period.

Video: FLA@WSH: Holtby sprawls to stone Trocheck with a pad

 

Highlight of the game

Luongo stopped Nicklas Backstrom on a rebound chance with a glove save in the second period. Ovechkin took the initial shot and Luongo made a pad save.

Video: FLA@WSH: Luongo flashes leather to stop Ovechkin

 

They said it

"We play with confidence. We understand we can't let different teams play their way. We have to manage our speed, we have to manage our game, and we have to dictate the scenario. You can see the last two periods, I think we played pretty good hockey. Obviously Luongo makes great saves, but [we knew] in the future it's going to pay [off]." -- Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin on what has contributed to the five-game winning streak

 

"I thought they were hard on the puck, they were real hard to handle, all three of them. They had a little chemistry. They were real good. When we needed a little push, they were the group that did it today." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz on the play of Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom and T.J. Oshie

 

"It happened in the second period really. We had a lead and things happen. Every game we have a lead and we just give up easy goals. We don't battle that hard when we get a lead. We feel like that's it, and when we get a lead we need to battle hard and get a bigger lead or just play our own game." -- Panthers forward Aleksander Barkov

 

Need to know

Panthers forward Jaromir Jagr left the game with 3:59 remaining in the first period with a lower-body injury and did not return. "He had a little bit of a cramp in his groin and he was just a little bit too sore to come back," Gallant said. "He's basically day to day. I don't think it's serious, but he was too sore to come back."

 

What's next

Panthers: Host the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; SUN, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Capitals: Host the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday (7 p.m. ET; CSN-CA, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Caps tally three in 3rd to beat Panthers, 4-2

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