Game Recap

Panthers Pounce On Capitals

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

Associated Press

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Panthers Pounce On Capitals
Florida Panthers 6, Washington Capitals 2

WASHINGTON (AP) -The Florida Panthers were preparing to face Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Washington Capitals when their pregame video session was cut short less than halfway through because the visitors' projector broke.

"We didn't get to go over most of our stuff, including the power play," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "Maybe it's a good thing."

Sure worked out OK. Stephen Weiss, Bryan McCabe and Jay Bouwmeester scored power-play goals in the first period, Florida held Ovechkin without a point until the final minute, and the Panthers beat the Southeast Division-leading Capitals 6-2 Sunday.

Florida came in having scored on fewer than 15 percent of its man-advantage chances this season, ranking 26th of 30 NHL teams. But its power play was just fine on this day.

"Maybe that's the secret: We've got to forgo the preparation," DeBoer said. "It clicked tonight and hopefully we can continue that."

McCabe finished with three assists, and Weiss had two. Florida's other goals were scored by rookie Michael Frolik, Richard Zednik and Jassen Cullimore.

"It was such a boost to our confidence to just get our power play going. It's been so long," McCabe said. "We've been struggling immensely of late."

The Capitals - coming off a rousing overtime victory Saturday at Eastern Conference-leading Boston - heard boos in their building and pulled starting goalie Jose Theodore after falling behind 4-1 in the opening period.

"Lots of mistakes," said Ovechkin, whose league-leading 46th goal came with 22 seconds left.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was not pleased with his team's performance but was not willing to concede that it was understandable given what happened in Boston.

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Tonight’s Mayors Jewelers Three Star Selections of the Game are:
1st: Jay Bouwmeester
2nd: Bryan McCabe
3rd: Stephen Weiss
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"We got beat to every loose puck. It seemed like they had the puck in the power play for the whole two minutes in our zone every time," Boudreau said. "I can't sugarcoat it and I can't find excuses for it. We weren't very good."


The Panthers, meanwhile, turned things around one day after a 7-2 loss at New Jersey. Florida entered Sunday second in the Southeast Division and seventh in the East, barely in playoff position.

Washington started well, going up 1-0 less than 1 1/2 minutes into the game on Alexander Semin's power-play goal off an assist from Brooks Laich. But after that, Panthers goalie Craig Anderson and his defense settled down.

"We very easily could have said, 'Oh, here we go again. It's not our night.' But we buckled down and really took it to them after that," McCabe said.

Florida could have had even more. With Washington still ahead, Theodore was whistled for throwing his stick at the puck, which gave the Panthers a penalty shot. Theodore's glove save on David Booth's attempt preserved Washington's lead - for 13 seconds.

That's how long it took for Florida to tie the game, starting a perfect 3-for-3 showing on the man-advantage in the first period: Weiss scored at 3:53 off McCabe's assist, McCabe scored at 6:59, and Bouwmeester made it 3-1 with 14:19 gone off assists from Weiss and McCabe.

Boudreau might not have wanted to talk about a letdown after beating Boston, DeBoer did think that might have played a role in Sunday's outcome.

"I thought they were a little bit flat," Florida's coach said, "and to our credit we took advantage of it."

Notes: Florida has alternated wins and losses over its past nine games. ... The Capitals recalled F Jay Beagle from AHL affiliate Hershey. RW Viktor Kozlov sat out for the 10th time in 12 games because of a groin injury. ... Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom extended his point streak to a career-high 10 games. ... Washington broke a franchise record with its 11th consecutive sellout.

scoring summary
1st Period
PPG - Alexander Semin (25) ASST: Brooks Laich (21)
1 - 0 WSH
PPG - Stephen Weiss (11) ASST: Bryan McCabe (17), Michael Frolik (16)
1 - 1 Tie
PPG - Bryan McCabe (12) ASST: Jay Bouwmeester (20)
2 - 1 FLA
PPG - Jay Bouwmeester (13) ASST: Stephen Weiss (33), Bryan McCabe (18)
3 - 1 FLA
Richard Zednik (13) ASST: Keith Ballard (21), Brett McLean (8)
4 - 1 FLA
2nd Period
Jassen Cullimore (2) ASST: Brett McLean (9), Stephen Weiss (34)
5 - 1 FLA
3rd Period
Michael Frolik (15) ASST: Bryan McCabe (19), Keith Ballard (22)
6 - 1 FLA
Alex Ovechkin (46) ASST: Nicklas Backstrom (51), Milan Jurcina (10)
6 - 2 FLA
penalty summary
1st Period
Radek Dvorak  Tripping against  Sergei Fedorov
Milan Jurcina  Hooking against  Karlis Skrastins
Tomas Fleischmann  Hooking against  Brett McLean
Jay Bouwmeester  Hooking against  Alex Ovechkin
Nicklas Backstrom  Holding against  Richard Zednik
2nd Period
Nick Tarnasky  Fighting (maj) against  Matt Bradley
Matt Bradley  Fighting (maj) against  Nick Tarnasky
Jay Beagle  Tripping against  Nathan Horton
Mike Green  Hi-sticking against  Michael Frolik
3rd Period
Mike Green  Delaying Game-Puck over glass
goalie stats
Craig Anderson
Craig Anderson
SA: 34TOI: 59:19
Saves: 32EV: 27 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 6
SV%: .941SH: 0 - 0
Michal Neuvirth
Michal Neuvirth
SA: 16TOI: 40:00
Saves: 14EV: 10 - 12
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 4
SV%: .875SH: 0 - 0
Jose Theodore
Jose Theodore
SA: 17TOI: 20:00
Saves: 13EV: 8 - 9
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 8
SV%: .765SH: 0 - 0