The Florida Panthers picked up a rare road win their last time out. They'll look to register two straight victories away from home Wednesday with a rare visit to Columbus.
Florida (9-12-1) had dropped four straight and nine of 11 on the road this season before defeating Washington 4-3 on Monday. The Panthers will now conclude their three-game trip in Columbus, where they haven't played since losing 4-1 on Oct. 19, 2002. They beat the Blue Jackets 3-0 in their first visit to Columbus on Nov. 17, 2000.
Against the Capitals, Olli Jokinen's second goal of the game put Florida up 4-1 in the third period and the Panthers held on to win for the second time in three games following a four-game slide.
"I think when you look at the third-period fade, we won the hockey game," Florida coach Jacques Martin said. "I think it's a matter of going through those experiences, and hopefully learning from them and being better."
Jokinen scored his team-leading 11th goal at 6:54 of the third, but the Capitals scored twice and nearly tied it in the final few minutes.
"I don't know why we relaxed," Jokinen said. "If you give those guys room, they're going to find a way to score. They were definitely cheating a little bit and going for offense for the last 10 minutes. (It's) good for us they didn't get that third one."
Tomas Vokoun made 27 saves to snap a personal three-game losing streak on the road.
"We've got to find a way to finish games and finish them like we should," Vokoun said. "We were up 4-1, and we were very close to the game being tied. For whatever reason, this shouldn't happen."
While Florida has faced Columbus just six times, Vokoun is familiar with the Blue Jackets (9-7-4) and has done extremely well against them.
Vokoun spent the last eight seasons with Nashville, Columbus' rival in the Central Division, and is 18-6-1 with a 2.21 goals-against average and three shutouts in 26 appearances against the Blue Jackets. He's won his last six starts versus Columbus, posting a 1.67 GAA in that span.
The Blue Jackets enter this matchup with six losses in their last seven games, including a 5-4 shootout defeat to Detroit at home on Sunday.
Columbus took a 4-3 lead on Nikolai Zherdev's sixth goal of the season at 13:51 of the third period, but Pavel Datsyuk tied the game for the Red Wings 1:19 later. Detroit then earned the two points when Johan Franzen scored in the fifth round of the shootout.
"They're the best team in the Western Conference, but we should have a lot of confidence from this," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We pushed them to the brink."
Zherdev and Rick Nash each had a goal and two assists for the Blue Jackets, who are 6-2-2 at home this season.