Washington Capitals dominate and shutout Florida Panthers 4-0 -NHL Update
It looks like Washington is finally getting back on track as the Capitals dominated Florida Panthers, 4-0, Tuesday night, February 7, 2012, at the sold-out Verizon Center in Washington, District of Columbia.
Washington is now back in the race to top the Eastern Conference by standing at number three with 60 points and a 28-21-4 record, but still far behind second place Boston Bruins, who have 68, and toppers New York Rangers, who reign with 71.
With Brooks Laich still playing despite a knee injury, Capitals found a new motivation factor in working for players like him as a team, which certainly did work against Florida.
Mathieu Perreault kicked off the scoring for Washington Capitals with his ninth of the 2011-2012 National Hockey League (NHL) regular season in the opening 13 seconds of the first period.
Captain Alex Ovechkin doubled the lead with his 21st on their first power play opportunity of the night with Florida’s Marcel Goc out for a minor penalty due to holding the stick.
Jason Chimera maintained the Washington boost going into the second period by extending the lead even further with his 15th being shorthanded on a 3-on-2 man advantage for Florida while Ovechkin picked up his second of the night on a quick turnover
in the Panthers defensive end at the 11:47 mark.
Both teams failed to score in the final period of regulation, giving Washington Capitals an easy win.
Former Florida Panthers goalie, Tomas Vokoun, who has had a tremendous season with Washington this year, played perfect in front of the net by blocking all 42 shots by his previous team.
"We don't want to kind of be a bubble team and just sit there," Vokoun said. "It's not going to be easy. Every game is going to be tough. We definitely want to win our division and that is what we set our goal as."
Florida failing to win for the second time might be disappointing for the team that came out so strong in the season start and now sits at number nine in the East, but the players are still confident on ending with a high note.
"We've got to stay positive," Florida defenseman, Brian Campbell, said. "We have to up our level, especially tonight. Some nights we're there but other nights we're not."
Florida have the next against Los Angeles Kings at home while Washington will take on Winnipeg Jets on Thursday.