Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Florida Panthers

Panthers News

Jokinen's Hat Trick Powers Panthers Past Capitals

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers

Stumpel Scores Shootout Winner

Goldie's postgame recap:

What a day in Pantherland. On the NHL's trading deadline day the Cats made 3 deals and then went out and won here in Washington in a shootout. It's the 1st shootout win of the season for the Cats, who are 3-0-2 in their last 5 and move within 8 points of a playoff spot.

Olli Jokinen was the big star here in DC with his 4th career hat trick. Jokinen hit the post in overtime as well. Ed Belfour stopped both both Alex's in the shootout, stopping Semin and Ovechkin. Jozef Stumpel and Ville Peltonen scored for the Cats to win it. The Panthers have won 4 in a row against Washington and come home for Dallas Thursday and Tampa Bay Saturday.

The Panthers traded Gary Roberts, Todd Bertuzzi and Joel Kwiatkowski today. In return Florida picked up 2 (or 3) draft picks and 2 players. Noah Welch come from Pittsburgh to play defense.. The 24 year old was a 2nd round pick and is projected to be a solid NHL defenseman. He comes with the smarts as he captained Harvard's hockey team for 4 years. The Cats also get Shawn Matthias from Detroit, a 2nd round pick last year. He is playing in Bellville in the OHL and has 33 goals, 61 points in 57 games. The Cats did well in trading 2 players who were not playing, Bertuzzi (injured) and Kwiatkowski (healthy scratch) and Roberts. At the same time, the Panthers did not lose much off of the current roster and tonight Rostislav Olesz played in Roberts old spot on Olli Jokinen's wing. Olesz responded with 2 assists. The Cats moved some players that do not fit in with the future plan and pick up a couple of players and picks which should help in the retooling of the team. In the meantime, the Cats continue to hang around in the standing making the month of March meaningful.

Game Preview

After struggling early in the season against the Washington Capitals, the Florida Panthers look to extend a three-game winning streak against them when the Southeast Division rivals continue their season series Tuesday night.

Florida (24-26-13) leads last-place Washington (24-29-10) by just three points in the Southeast, but is 4-1-2 after a three-game losing streak and 14-8-7 since Dec. 16.

"We wanted to make a point and show we can compete at a high level and be the type of team that can make the playoffs," said Panthers center Chris Gratton, who scored two goals in Saturday night's 7-2 victory over the Boston Bruins. "Unfortunately we have those tough starts, like in November, and it hurts us."

Ville Peltonen, Stephen Weiss, Nathan Horton, Olli Jokinen and Martin Gelinas also scored for the Panthers on Saturday, while Juraj Kolnik had three assists. The line combination of Weiss, Horton and Gelinas has combined for seven goals and 10 assists in the last four games.

"I think we're starting to click and it's showing on the ice," said Weiss, who also has three goals and six points in four games against Washington this season.

After losing the first two meetings in the eight-game series, Florida has outscored Washington 17-7 to win the last three, including a 4-1 win Jan. 20 at the Verizon Center. Gelinas has two goals in each of his last two games against the Capitals, and defenseman Jay Bouwmeester has two goals and seven points against Washington on the season.

The Capitals, who have lost six of their last seven games overall, have fallen out of playoff contention after a competitive start to the season.

Washington dealt forward Richard Zednik to the New York Islanders on Monday for a 2007 second-round draft pick. Zednik had six goals and 12 assists for the Capitals, but missed 31 games with wrist and groin injuries.

Also on Monday, the Capitals sent defenseman Lawrence Nycholat to Ottawa for defenseman Andy Hedlund and a sixth-round draft pick. Hedlund, 28, has spent the season with the Binghamton Senators of the American Hockey League.

Capitals general manager George McPhee said he first realized he would be a seller rather than a buyer when the team had several injuries during a busy part of the schedule from Christmas through New Year's Day.

"We lost all five games, and we never recovered," McPhee said. "It's really too bad. The team was having a nice season. We didn't have the depth to survive that."

Washington had a chance for a home-and-home weekend sweep of New Jersey, but lost 3-2 at home Sunday.

Alex Ovechkin was a bright spot for the Capitals, scoring his team-leading 35th goal - his first tally in six games.

"I got it in - finally," Ovechkin said.

Brooks Laich also scored for the Capitals to tie a career high with seven goals on the season. He had seven goals in 73 games in 2005-06.
View More