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game recap

Wilson scores twice, Capitals defeat Panthers in OT

Wins it at 17 seconds after tying game in third period for Washington, which has won five straight

by Alain Poupart / Independent Correspondent

Wilson's second goal is OT winner

WSH@FLA: Wilson nets Carlson's feed for OT winner

Braden Holtby makes a solid pad save that springs the Capitals the other way, where Tom Wilson lifts home a great feed for the overtime winner

  • 01:00 •

SUNRISE, Fla. -- Tom Wilson scored his second goal 17 seconds into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 win against the Florida Panthers at BB&T Center on Thursday.

Wilson scored on a 2-on-1 six seconds after Capitals goalie Braden Holtby stopped Aaron Ekblad on a breakaway.

"[Holtby] made an amazing save," Wilson said. "Then I realized I had to get going the other way, we had a chance, we had an odd-man rush. That's how 3-on-3 works. Your guy comes up big for you and then you can try to capitalize at the other end."


[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Panthers highlights]


Wilson tied the game 4-4 at 44 seconds of the third period when he tipped Evgeny Kuznetsov's pass.

Alex Ovechkin had two goals and one assist, John Carlson had one goal and two assists, and Kuznetsov had three assists for the Capitals (12-2-3), who have won five in a row and have a 10-game point streak (9-0-1). Holtby made 32 saves.

"It wasn't a great game from that standpoint (of giving up chances)," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said. "We weren't as sharp as we can be. The key to successful teams is trying to figure out ways to win when you're not at your best, and that was a case that took place tonight. Some big efforts from guys, but overall we can play better than that."

Video: WSH@FLA: Kuznetsov sets up Ovechkin for PPG

Aleksander Barkov and Evgenii Dadonov each had a goal and an assist for the Panthers (7-3-5), who have a point in 11 of their past 12 games (6-1-5). Sergei Bobrovsky made 26 saves.

"We find a way to get points almost every game and we find a way to win games," Barkov said. "Of course today we couldn't get it done, but the best thing is that we still can get a lot better and we all know it. But we're all confident. We know how to play the right way and that's what we've been doing."

Washington took a 1-0 lead 25 seconds into the first period on Carlson's eighth goal of the season before Frank Vatrano tied it 1-1 at 1:55 on a breakaway.

Brett Connolly, playing his first game against his former team, tipped Anton Stralman's shot from the point to give Florida a 2-1 lead at 14:26.

"Yeah, it was nice," Connolly said. "It would have been nice to win. Obviously it's always nice to score goals. There's no hard feelings for me over there. It was obviously just trying to help my team win tonight and I was fortunate to get one."

Video: WSH@FLA: Connolly gains position, pots redirection

Barkov scored at 27 seconds of the second period on a one-timer for a 3-1 lead, but Ovechkin scored a power-play goal at 6:13 to cut it to 3-2, and at 12:14 to tie the score 3-3.

Dadonov gave Florida a 4-3 lead 18:59 when he one-timed Jonathan Huberdeau's pass from behind the net on a power play.

Wilson was injured when he blocked a shot during that power play.

"I can talk a lot about Tom Wilson," Reirden said. "Tonight's game summed it up for me. He lays down, blocks a shot at the end of the second and they end up scoring. I'm not sure if he's going to be able to come back and play in the third, and he comes back, physical right away in the beginning of the third, and ends up scoring the goal to get us tied up at the time and eventually scores the winner. That's how hockey should work.

"When you want to pay the price and you want to play the game the right way, then things seem to go your way, so I'm not surprised at all to see Tom get rewarded like that."

Video: WSH@FLA: Wilson pots equalizer with nice redirection


They said it

"The first period we didn't get the result. We made mistakes, especially in our zone, and gave them the chance to score two goals. After that, we realized we have to play smarter and that's what we did." -- Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin

"If we're playing our best we can play against any team. We've just got to keep getting better every day and we'll take it from there, but overall it's been 15 games now, if we would start the season, we would take this record. We would take it the way we're playing. I think guys have a lot of be proud of for the first 15 games." -- Panthers forward Brett Connolly

Video: Couturier, Rust, Tavares, and Wilson net OT winners.


Need to know

Carlson has 26 points (eight goals, 18 assists), making him the seventh defenseman in NHL history and the first since Al MacInnis in 1990-91 to reach 25 points in 17 or fewer games. … Ovechkin has 81 points (38 goals, 43 assists) in 64 games against Florida. He has 21 points (12 goals, nine assists) in his past 14 games. … Barkov has a three-game goal streak after not scoring in the first 12 games. … Panthers defenseman Mike Matheson returned after missing five games because of a lower-body injury and played 23:01. … Forward Dominic Toninato played 11:12 in his Panthers debut. … Panthers forward Colton Sceviour played in his 400th NHL game.

Video: WSH@FLA: Ovechkin scores with fortunate deflection


What's next

Capitals: Host the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSWA, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV)

Panthers: At the New York Islanders on Saturday (Barclays Center, 1 p.m. ET; MSG+, FS-F, NHL.TV)

Video: Wilson scores twice, including game-winner in OT

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