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Washington
Capitals
29-41-12
Florida
Panthers
37-34-11

30 SOG
40 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
WSH
FLA
game recap

Panthers 3, Capitals 2

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:48 AM

Associated Press

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Panthers 3, Capitals 2
Washington Capitals 2, Florida Panthers 3

SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida Panthers are starting to believe that they can make the playoffs.

Jon Sim, Jozef Stumpel and Joe Nieuwendyk scored goals and Roberto Luongo made 28 saves to lead Florida to its first four-game winning streak of the season with a 3-2 victory over Washington on Wednesday night.

The Panthers trail Atlanta by five points for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

"Each game we win we get closer and closer," Stumpel said. "We still have hope and we will keep pushing."

Brian Willsie and Dainius Zubrus scored for the Capitals and Brent Johnson made 37 saves.

Washington has now lost seven straight games. It was their seventh consecutive loss to Florida this season. Six of those were by one goal, including two shootouts.

"We squeaked out a few against them," Panthers defenseman Mike Van Ryn said. "Maybe it is a little lucky that we pulled this one out again."

The Capitals trailed by two goals heading into the final period, but Zubrus beat Loungo on a backhanded shot at 8:00. Washington could never get the equalizer.

"It's not the Panthers that tire you, it's the losing during the whole season," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said. "You have to guard against becoming morally down."

Florida took a 3-1 lead after scoring three power-play goals in the second. Nieuwendyk passed from the left circle to Stumpel on the right side. Stumpel shot the puck under Johnson's legs at 6:03. At 8:26, Sim jumped on a rebound of a Chris Gratton shot and slid the puck between Johnson's legs.

"The puck was laying there and I just batted it in," Sim said. "This is a huge two points for us. Every game now is the biggest game of the year."

The Panthers had tied the score 1-1 just 35 seconds into the second on a five-on-three power play goal by Nieuwendyk. Stumpel passed from the left circle and found Nieuwendyk to the right of the crease where he poked in the puck.

"We had lots of shots on the net," Nieuwendyk said. "Anytime we had a chance we put the puck to the net. The hockey gods were on our side tonight."

Washington took a 1-0 lead during a five-on-three power play in the first period. Jeff Halpern's shot bounced off the post and across the crease and Willsie pushed the puck into the open net at 18:16.

Washington was on a power play during the last 1:45 of the game and pulled the goalie.

"We had our chance with a six-on-four at the end to score a goal," Zubrus said. "It was in our hands to tie it up."

Notes: Stumpel has 17 points in his last nine games. ... Sim has seven goals in five games against the Capitals this season. ... Florida defensemen have 17 points (five goals and 12 assists) in the past eight games. ... Willsie is the only Capitals player to play in every game this season.

scoring summary
1st Period
18:16
WSH
PPG - Brian Willsie (15) ASST: Jeff Halpern (28), Jamie Heward (19)
1 - 0 WSH
2nd Period
00:35
FLA
PPG - Joe Nieuwendyk (19) ASST: Jozef Stumpel (36), Richard Jackman (23)
1 - 1 Tie
06:03
FLA
PPG - Jozef Stumpel (14) ASST: Joe Nieuwendyk (21), Gary Roberts (20)
2 - 1 FLA
08:26
FLA
PPG - Jon Sim (16) ASST: Chris Gratton (20), Joel Kwiatkowski (8)
3 - 1 FLA
3rd Period
08:00
WSH
Dainius Zubrus (16) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (42), Bryan Muir (16)
3 - 2 FLA
penalty summary
1st Period
16:01
WSH
Mathieu Biron  Tripping
16:10
FLA
Gary Roberts  Interference - Goalkeeper
16:10
FLA
Gary Roberts  Unsportsmanlike conduct
16:24
FLA
Joel Kwiatkowski  Hi-sticking
19:00
FLA
Mike Van Ryn  Holding
19:00
WSH
Dainius Zubrus  Diving
19:17
WSH
Brian Willsie  Interference
19:38
WSH
Steve Eminger  Holding
20:00
WSH
Dainius Zubrus  Unsportsmanlike conduct
2nd Period
05:31
WSH
Matt Bradley  Hooking
07:48
WSH
Brian Sutherby  Slashing
11:59
FLA
Jon Sim  Hooking
13:16
WSH
Mathieu Biron  Hooking
13:55
FLA
Mikhail Yakubov  Hooking
3rd Period
01:02
WSH
Chris Clark  Holding
04:59
FLA
Nathan Horton  Holding
07:02
FLA
Olli Jokinen  Holding
07:28
WSH
Brian Willsie  Slashing
09:05
FLA
Jay Bouwmeester  Interference
11:54
FLA
Jay Bouwmeester  Boarding
13:00
WSH
Chris Clark  Holding
17:12
WSH
Shaone Morrisonn  Holding
18:15
FLA
Joel Kwiatkowski  Hooking
19:53
WSH
Ben Clymer  Slashing
goalie stats
Brent Johnson
Brent Johnson
SA: 40TOI: 58:58
Saves: 37EV: 27 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 9
SV%: .925SH: 4 - 4
Roberto Luongo
SA: 30TOI: 59:56
Saves: 28EV: 18 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 7
SV%: .933SH: 4 - 4
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