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Panthers Wrap-Up: Capitals 2, Panthers 1

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 1 0 0 0 1
Capitals 0 0 2 0 2
FLA - T. Fleischmann (19)

WSH - PP - A. Ovechkin (24), A. Semin (16)
SUNRISE, Fla (AP) - Alexander Semin scored the tiebreaking goal and Tomas Vokoun made 22 saves against his former team as the Washington Capitals beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 on Friday night.

Alex Ovechkin also scored as the Capitals moved two points behind the first-place Panthers in the Southeast Division.

"When you have a lead you at least want a point out of it, but we found a way to lose tonight...It's a regular-season game, obviously, two teams trying to get to the playoffs, it was definitely an intense game."

- Winger Kris Versteeg
1. A Late Tally After Weathering The Early Storm: Washington got off to a fast start as they peppered starting netminder Jose Theodore with eight shots on goal. On the flip side, despite several scoring chances, Florida could only get one recorded shot on former Panther Tomas Vokoun in that span. Keeping the Capitals off the board, especially in the game's first five/six minutes with the way the team has struggled early in games in giving up goals was huge for Florida. They were rewarded with some nice work by Stephen Weiss as he skated behind the goal and found winger Tomas Fleischmann in the slot. The former Capital fired the shot far side on the one-timer with 39.8 seconds left in the first.

2. Theodore Strong Most Of The Night: Holding a 1-0 lead for almost two periods, Theodore was the key to the score. The Panthers netminder made a big kick save on Jeff Halpern in the first period. Then he made a big glove save on Brooks Laich after the Capitals forward made a move around Mike Weaver with 11:06 left in the second and walked in all alone on the Panthers keeper. Theodore stopped all 30 shots through the first two periods and was tested 11 more times in the final 20 period as Washington looked to tie up the Panthers netminder.

3. Penalties Killer As Caps Creep Closer: Still up 1-0 after two periods of play, despite a close call but a waved off goal in the final minute of the second (goaltender interference by Mike Knuble), Florida failed to record a point when leading after 40 minutes of play for the first time this season. The Panthers had entered the night with a 16-0-4 record when leading after two periods but penalties got them in trouble and kept them from amounting an offensive attack. Mikael Samuelsson went to the box for slashing 4:16 in. And despite Weaver being hit in the face with a Capitals stick while on the ice, play continued and Alex Ovechkin knotted the score 31 seconds into the man advantage. The Capitals were awarded three more power plays in the final stanza, including one with 4:51 left on the clock and up a goal after Alexander Semin beat a Theodore with a shot that handcuffed the Panthers netminder. While the Capitals saw four power play chances, Florida saw just 1:15 of time (carry over from the Knuble interference penalty in the second). With Theodore pulled for the extra attacker, Florida couldn't get the equalizer as the Capitals tied up the Panthers on the face-offs with time expiring. With the loss, Florida holds just a two-point lead in the Southeast.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@Haydn760: On the bright side the fans singing the anthem together still makes me happy thinking back #flapanthers

@dsilverstone29: Very disappointing loss tonight. #FlaPanthers

@altereg0: I can only hope the players are as disappointed and frustrated as I am. #FlaPanthers #NotEnoughOffense

@grueknowwho: If there is one positive for the #FlaPanthers tonight it is that the players care enough about losing to be visibly upset at the loss

@305miamiteams: Bad loss for #flapanthers. Theodore outplayed Vokoun, just no damn goal support from the Cats...Need to take advantage with easier schedule

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Rebecca Hindle: We better win the next game or I won't be happy could have had a 6 point lead if we'd have won.

Daniel Landon Chiarelli: The Panthers played a great 1st period full of shots and one goal. The second and third period lacked the offensive spark that this team needs down the stretch. If the Panthers want to succeed and make the playoffs, they need to acquire some good goal-scorers before the deadline to boost the offense.

Gregory Gudin: Inconsistent play..the last two games were terrible...sad after such a strong showing last weekend

Joe Fiore: Heart breaker.

Michael Trudeau: Until we improve our powerplay we are done. Theodore stood on his head tonight and the rest of the team failed to step up. I was crushed!

1. The Panthers have been money when leading after 40 minutes of play. The Panthers had picked up points in each of their 20 games (16-0-4) before Washington earned the 2-1 regulation victory.

5. Tomas Fleischmann got the Panthers on the board in the dying seconds of the first period as he beat Tomas Vokoun for the 1-0 lead. The goal stretched the winger's point streak to five games (2-4-6).

8. It was a pretty even game in terms of the hit category as Washington outhit Florida 37-34. Leading the way in the stat was defenseman Keaton Ellerby who had a game-high eight hits.

39.8. It came in the dying seconds but there was plenty of time on the clock as Fleischmann scored with 39.8 seconds remaining in the opening period.

41. Washington threw a lot of shots at Jose Theodore, 41 in total. The tally tied for second highest shot total the netminder has seen this season (high of 44).

Alexander Semin
Recorded the main assist on Ovechkin's equalizer and then recorded the game-winner to help Washington move to within two points of the division lead.

1 Goal, 1 Assist, +1, 6 Shots
It's another day off before the Panthers play their next game as they host the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday (6pm start). It's the only meeting of the season betweent the two non-Conference teams. Anaheim, which was 17 points out of playoff contention come the New Year has been the league's hottest team since the Calender turned to January. The Ducks are now eight points out of playoff position after going 14-3-3. Anaheim is led offensively by the "Finnish Flash" Teemu Selanne (52 points in 57 games), Corey Perry (46 points in 57 games) and Ryan Getzlaf (39 points in 57 games). Between the pipes, Jonas Hiller has seen almost all of the work (played in 51 out of 57 games), posting a 21-19-9 record with a .908 save percentage and a 2.69 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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