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game recap

Huberdeau helps Panthers defeat Capitals

Scores twice to give Florida rare win at Washington

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

Huberdeau's second of the night

FLA@WSH: Huberdeau beats Grubauer again

2/2/16: Panthers forward Jonathan Huberdeau snaps a shot from the top of the right circle on the power play to beat Philipp Grubauer in the 2nd

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WASHINGTON -- With five points in three games, forward Jonathan Huberdeau has been a big part of the Florida Panthers' four-game win streak, which in turn has given them the confidence of knowing they can compete with the best teams in the NHL.

Huberdeau scored twice to help the Panthers to a 5-2 win against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center on Tuesday, their fourth consecutive win and first here since Dec. 9, 2010.

"We know we're a good team," said Huberdeau, who has 37 points. "We know we believe in ourselves. That's what we're showing on the ice. It's a team effort every game, and that's why we're in first position right now."

Aleksander Barkov and Vincent Trocheck scored, and Al Montoya made 36 saves for the Panthers (30-15-5), who lead the Atlantic Division.

"I think we took advantage of opportunities," Florida coach Gerard Gallant said. "When we killed those five penalties in the first period, that was a big part of the hockey game. We led the game 2-0 after the first, but they had great opportunities and their goaltending was outstanding. I thought our penalty killers were outstanding tonight and our goaltending was the difference."

Video: FLA@WSH: Huberdeau opens the scoring

Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky scored for the Capitals (35-9-4), the Metropolitan Division leaders; Philipp Grubauer made 14 saves.

The Capitals have played two games since Jan. 19 after having two games rescheduled because of a snowstorm. The Capitals lost 4-3 in overtime to the Philadelphia Flyers on Jan. 27, and have not lost two consecutive games in regulation all season.

"I mean, we always bounce back," Grubauer said. "Like, we don't lose two in a row, and we showed last [third] period was good. Last period was great. Maybe it wasn't the start we wanted to have, but last period, we shut it down, we played our game and we build from that."

Video: FLA@WSH: Backstrom gets the Capitals on the board

Huberdeau scored at 10:43 of the first period to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Jaromir Jagr played the puck behind the net to Huberdeau in the slot, where he scored his ninth goal of the season.

Barkov's goal at 15:06 gave the Panthers a 2-0 lead on a 5-on-3. Nick Bjugstad fed a no-look pass to Barkov in front of the net and he scored over Grubauer's right shoulder. The goal was Barkov's 14th.

"We're a pretty good team," Barkov said. "We can beat any team in this league and can dominate any team."

The first period had eight power plays; 10:47 of the period was played at even strength. The Capitals had eight power plays in the game but were unable to score on any of them.

Video: FLA@WSH: Barkov doubles the lead

"Both power plays were quite different tonight, obviously, with 40 percent of your No. 1 power play out with Alex [Ovechkin] and [Marcus Johansson] out," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "You know, they had lots of looks. I think with a quick look, they had sort of 17 chances on the power play, but we'll look at them and we'll break it down. We just didn't find the back of the net."

Trocheck scored an unassisted goal for a 3-0 Panthers lead 21 seconds into the second period. He skated down the right wing and scored short-side on Grubauer for his 15th.

Huberdeau scored his second at 15:10 of the second, giving the Panthers a 4-0 lead. He beat Grubauer glove-side on the power play for his 10th.

Backstrom scored 34 seconds into the third period to make it 4-1. He sent a rebound past Montoya for his 17th.

Burakovsky made it 4-2 with his eighth goal at 1:53 of the third. He scored on Montoya with a wrist shot from the slot; Burakovsky has 11 points in his past 12 games.

Video: FLA@WSH: Burakovsky beats Montoya

The Capitals played without Ovechkin, who was suspended one game for not attending the 2016 Honda NHL All-Star Game; Johansson, who is day-to-day with an upper-body injury; and goalie Braden Holtby, who dressed as Grubauer's backup.

It was the second game Ovechkin missed this season. He was a healthy scratch Oct. 13 against the San Jose Sharks, and the Capitals lost 5-0. They are 13-13-2 all-time without Ovechkin.

"We can't do anything about that," Huberdeau said of Ovechkin's absence. "Whoever they play, they still have a good team. Ovechkin's one player, but they have so many good players. We did a good job, and we don't care who's playing on the other side."

Capitals defenseman Taylor Chorney left the game in the second period with a flu-like illness and did not return.

Video: Huberdeau helps Panthers defeat Capitals

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