February 14, 2013

Capitals Vs Panthers February 12, 2013
Game Review

Capitals' Troy Brouwer (F) scores game winning goal against Panthers in Sunrise, FL February 12, 2013.
Photo © Wilfredo Lee / AP Photo.

Washington Capitals 6 Vs Florida Panthers 5 = Road Game OT Win

The Washington Capitals jumped to a quick lead in this game, but the Florida Panthers showed they weren't going to be a push-over at home in Florida on Tuesday - February 12, 2013.

With a sparkling shutout performance against the Panthers in the Capitals' previous game, goaltender Braden Holtby earned himself the start versus Florida. The Panthers however, were out to make up for their lackluster effort in that one. Like the Capitals, the Cats have had the better record in their own house, and they were determined to keep it that way.

Washington's best offensive player so far this season, center Mike Ribeiro scored first, four-and-a-half minutes into period one. The Capitals were in the offensive zone, during the first power-play of the game. Ribeiro seemed to show up in front of the net out of nowhere to send the puck, which came to him on an errant cross-ice pass from defenseman Tomas Kundratek, into the goal cage.

Washington had been relatively mistake free until halfway through the first period. Then, a couple breakdowns led to goals by Florida's forwards Tomas Fleischmann and Shawn Matthias. The Fleischmann goal was a deflected shot, and Matthias' shot may have been slightly screened, but could possibly have been stopped by Holtby.

Defenseman Karl Alzner scored his first goal of the season, off a face-off win early into the second period, on a scorching slap shot. Assists by forwards Eric Fehr and Joel Ward helped Alzner tie up the game at two apiece. Jonathan Huberdeau (C) and his line took advantage of missed defensive assignments by the Caps, scoring two fairly easy goals. Luckily, Washington's Matt Hendricks got another goal in between those, on a nice play involving fellow forwards Alex Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro, keeping the Caps within one goal of the Panthers.

Huberdeau's line was at it again, a third of the way through the third period, when his linemate Drew Shore tipped in (reviewed for stick height on shot) his first of the season. It took eight-and-a-half minutes before Eric Fehr (F) matched that tip-in at the other end of the ice. Mike Green (D) and Joel Ward (F) both earned their fifth assists, for the season, on that one.

Another power-play strike by the Capitals came less than three minutes before the end of regulation. Alex Ovechkin (F) tied up the game with a slap shot goal, right after a face-off win, from the left-wing point. Ribeiro gained his third point of the game (1 G, 2 A), with his assist, while the other helper came from fellow centerman Nicklas Backstrom.

It took just 32 seconds of overtime for Washington to take the win. The play started with a bad Panthers' pass in the Capitals' end. Nicklas Backstrom (C) grabbed the puck and sent a beautiful breakaway pass to Troy Brouwer (F). Florida netminder Scott Clemmensen stopped his first try, but Brouwer tipped in his rebound for the game winner.

Finally, the Washington Capitals get a win on the road, even if it was ugly. They, also finally, now have a genuine winning streak. Hey, two in a row is a streak, and we'll take it. It's always good to beat a divisional rival, and to take two in a row from them is so sweet. Hopefully, the Caps are finally turning things around.

Caps Postgame Locker Room 02/12/13: Caps players Alex Ovechkin, Braden Holtby and Eric Fehr address the media after the Caps 6-5 overtime win against the Panthers.

Adam Oates Postgame 02/12/13: Caps head coach Adam Oates addresses the media after the Caps 6-5 overtime win against the Panthers.

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