WASHINGTON - Defenceman Mike Green broke a tie on a power play 43 seconds into the third period, then added an empty-netter, lifting the Washington Capitals past the Florida Panthers 3-1 Saturday night and giving him goals in six consecutive games.
That's the longest goal streak by a defenceman in Capitals history.
Green leads NHL blueliners with a career-high 19 goals and 46 points this season, despite missing 13 games. He's second in the NHL with 14 power-play scores.
His tiebreaker came off assists from reigning MVP Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and while Panthers centre Stephen Weiss was in the penalty box for holding.
Jose Theodore made 21 saves for the Capitals, who killed a five-minute power play that expired with a second left in the game.
That penalty on defenceman Shaone Morrissonn was for checking from behind and gave Florida a 5-on-3 chance for more than a minute. Morrissonn threw his stick as he headed to the locker room, and Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau discussed the call with an official.
Still, the Capitals held their lead, ending a stretch of 13 straight games in which they allowed a power-play goal.
Eric Fehr put Washington ahead only 33 seconds into the game, when he got behind Florida's defence, took a pass from Tomas Fleischmann and put the puck past goalie Tomas Vokoun. It was the second game in a row the Capitals scored quickly: They needed 15 seconds to get on the board Thursday against Los Angeles, although the Kings wound up winning 5-4.
The Capitals allowed a short-handed goal in each of their previous two games - and they appeared on the verge of doing so against Florida, too.
With Weiss off for four minutes for high-sticking, Radek Dvorak slipped behind all five Capitals and moved in on a breakaway. But Green caught up and tripped up Dvorak before he could get off a shot, preventing a goal but also earning his own penalty.
During that ensuing 4-on-4, the Panthers tied it at one-all 8:35 into the game on Keith Ballard's fifth goal of the season.
Ovechkin not only leads the NHL in goals, but also in shots, and in Saturday's first period, he put the puck on net six times - only once fewer than the entire Panthers team.
One of Ovechkin's shots was a blistering attempt from right in front of the net, but Vokoun made a nice reflex save.
Notes: Washington has won four of five games. ... The Capitals recalled F Alexandre Giroux from AHL affiliate Hershey, in case F Brooks Laich (bruised leg) was unable to play. But Laich was in uniform - he's one of three Capitals to have appeared in every game this season - and Giroux was scratched. ... Healthy scratches: Capitals D John Erskine; Panthers D Noah Welch and LW Nick Tarnasky.