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Panthers Wrap-Up: Capitals 4, Panthers 0

by Glenn Odebralski / Florida Panthers
1 2 3 OT T
Panthers 0 0 0 0 0
Capitals 2 2 0 0 4

WAS - M. Perreault (9), PPG - A. Ovechkin (21), SHG - J. Chimera (15), A. Ovechkin (22)
WASHINGTON (AP) - Mathieu Perreault scored with 13 seconds elapsed, Alex Ovechkin had two goals and the Washington Capitals beat the Florida Panthers 4-0 Tuesday night to take over first place in the Southeast Division.

Former Panthers goalie Tomas Vokoun stopped 42 shots in his fourth shutout of the season, the second against Florida.

"We got beat by the better hockey team tonight. Last time when we played them at home, we were the better team. We outplayed them. I stand by that and tonight they were just better than we were. We need to understand that, fess up, recognize that our game has to improve, we have to be better and move forward."

- Panthers coach Kevin Dineen
1. A Quick Start...For The Caps: Before most of the crowd was back in their seats from the National Anthem and probably people at home had sat down for the game, the game's first goal was scored. The Capitals, looking for a quick start, got it on the very first shift. There Jason Chimera, from behind the net found Mathieu Perreault in front of the net and the forward fired a wrist shot past Scott Clemmensen, scoring five-hole on the Panthers netminder. The goal was the fastest goal scored this season by the Capitals to open a game and it was the fastest goal allowed by the Panthers this season, surpassing the 35 seconds that it took Carl Hagelin of the New York Rangers to score at the BankAtlantic Center on December 30th. Definitely not a great start, but with one goal, not insurmountable...

2. No Special Teams Success For The Cats: Only trailing by a goal, the Panthers put some good pressure on the Capitals in looking to tie the game. Washington on the other hand used the special teams to made the lead a mountain instead of a molehill. The Caps got the game's first power play of the game as Marcel Goc went to the box 8:47 into the first. Missing the two team's last contest due to a suspension, Alex Ovechkin made his presence felt as he sped in from the left side and fired a hard shot five-hole on Clemmensen just 34 seconds into the penalty, giving them a 2-0 lead. The Panthers would get their first power play of the game with 20 seconds left in the opening period when Dennis Wideman going to the box for slashing. Florida got a couple of good chances late in the period and opened the second with the man advantage. It was Washington however doing the scoring on the power play when Jason Chimera slipped in his own rebound on the rush 1:01 into the period for a 3-0 lead. First a power play goal given up then a shorthanded goal. Florida found no success on four power play chances despite putting up ten shots on net.

3. Unable To Bounce Back Leads To Flip Flop: The Panthers have been extremely good at bouncing back from regulation losses this season, picking up at least one point on most other occasions following a regulation loss. In fact, entering the night, Florida had just one other time where they lost back-to-back regulation losses and that came back in mid-October (Oct. 18 vs Washington and Oct. 20 vs Buffalo). Falling to Tampa Saturday night, and having a game of high importance with Florida and Washington battling for the top spot in the Southeast, one would have expected Florida to have a good bounce back. The Panthers threw 42 shots on net but Tomas Vokoun had little trouble seeing the puck as most of the opportunities came far out. It was the second time at the Verizon Center that Vokoun shut out his former mate as Ovechkin's two goals led the way. Despite flipflopping in the standings (with Washington one point up on the Cats), Florida still has one game in hand and there's a long way to go with 30 games to play. That all starts on Thursday against the Kings.
Memorable twitter posts from the game.

@tvhpanther2: #FlaPanthers need a captain someone who can give a good word of advise after a game like tonight

@Ewener: Dear #FlaPanthers I'm not asking for a Stanley Cup (yet) or a division title. All I want is hockey an few week (at least) after April 7!

@Weinsteinlaw: Tough loss tonight here in DC for the #FlaPanthers. Going to be a quiet trip back. Kings game on Thursday is a must win.

@jonny_garcia4: @FlaPanthers you guys will get them next time #believeinred

@Dpianin96: @FLAPanthers Absolutely inexcusable performance. Playoff teams are ready to play games like that, we clearly weren't.

Memorable fan posts from the game.

Jose Ramirez: We need a scoring threat. Trading some prospects and some picks may help.

Roni Baird Vezina: Don't just blame the goalie in this one. We didn't play as a team tonight.

Amy Riley: Gonna be there thur. Guys better show up!!!

Eddie Castro: I still love my Panthers! I will be there at the BAC to see the Cats get revenge on the 17th

Mark Oakvik: Panthers didn't even show up !!

0. Failing to score a goal against Washington, it was the fourth time this season that the Panthers couldn't find the back of the net. Half of that total has come to the Capitals, both coming at the Verizon Center.

5. Trailing by two to start the second and on the power play, the Caps broke out on the rush and Jason Chimera put in his own rebound for a shorthanded goal 1:01 into the period. It was the fifth shorthanded goal allowed by the Panthers this season with the last one coming in New Jersey on January 6th.

13. Not a pretty start for the Panthers but a great one for the Caps as Mathieu Perreault scored on the very first shift of the game, 13 seconds in. It was the quickest goal allowed by the Panthers this season, beating the 35 seconds in allowed to the Rangers Carl Hagelin at the BankAtlantic Center on December 30th.

18. Florida posted 42 shots on the Capitals, picking up 10 in the first, 17 in the second and 15 more in the third. That was 18 more than the Capitals put on net in the game.

Taking to the ice following the Capitals first goal, winger Kris Versteeg skated in his 300th career NHL game. The 25-year old is in his fourth full season (fifth total) in the league.

Alex Ovechkin
Scored basically the insurance goal on the power play in the first and then gave the Caps a 4-0 lead in the second. Was all over the ice and had a chance for the hat trick on several occasions.

2 Goals, 5 Shots, +1, 20:15 TOI
Florida looks to get back on track and back into the winning column after falling in their last two games. Luckily their next game on Thursday night comes at home where the Cats have won their last two games and have taken points in five of their six games since the New Year. This game they'll take on the Los Angeles Kings. It will be the second meeting between the cross Conference teams with L.A. earning a 2-1 victory backon December 1st thanks to a stellar effort from netminder Jonathan Quick who turned aside 41 shots for the victory. The Kings, who beat Tampa Bay by a score of 3-1 on Tuesday night are led offensively Anze Kopitar (47 points in 54 games) and Justin Williams (37 points in 54 games). While the offense has struggled to put up goals (league low 118), the netminding, specifically Quick has been phenominal this season, posting a 23-13-9 record with a .935 save percentage and a 1.89 goals against average.

Author: Glenn Odebralski |

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