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Caps strengthen hold on top spot in East

Apr 7, 2011 - 7:01 AM
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Semyon Varlamov made 31 saves and the Washington Capitals strengthened their case for the top overall seed in the Eastern Conference with a 5-2 victory over the Florida Panthers in their home finale.

The Southeast Division-champion Capitals lead the Flyers, the East's second seed, by four points. Philadelphia has two games remaining, while the Capitals end the regular season on Saturday against the Panthers.

"We started a job that we'd like to finish on Saturday," Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said.

Mike Knuble and Jason Chimera both recorded power-play goals in the win, Washington's fourth straight. Alex Ovechkin scored an empty-netter and had two assists for the victors.

Scott Clemmensen yielded four goals on 24 shots for Florida, which dropped its ninth consecutive game.

Panthers defenseman Mike Weaver was whistled for tripping 57 seconds into the game, and Knuble re-directed Brooks Laich's centering feed into the back of the net just 23 seconds later.

Chimera made it 2-0 in the final minute of the opening frame, and Sean Collins padded the lead at the 11:42 mark of the second when he followed up an odd-man rush and wristed one home from between the circles.

Matt Hendricks was on the right doorstep for a stuff-in 6:37 into the third period for a commanding four-goal advantage.

David Booth scored on the power play with 6:16 remaining to spoil Varlamov's shutout bid, and Mike Santorelli tallied with 1:31 on the clock.

Ovechkin's 32nd goal of the season came with 12 seconds showing.

Game Notes

The Caps have suffered just two regulation losses in their last 19 games (16-2-1). They finished the year 25-8-8 at home...This is Florida's longest skid since an 0-8-4 rut from October 27-November 23, 2005...Florida will make a stop Friday in Tampa before Saturday's home tilt against the Capitals.






  • 16
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    MattDOOM777 Added 5 roots

    Panthers 2, Capitals 5  FinalApr 11 11:33 AM


  • FLORIDA: 2
    WASHINGTON: 5
    Final

    Apr 6 9:32 PM


  • Florida Goal - Mike Santorelli (19), at 18:29.

    Panthers 2, Capitals 4  3rd - 1:31Apr 6 9:27 PM


  • Clay Wilson shot blocked by John Erskine.

    Panthers 1, Capitals 4  3rd - 5:49Apr 6 9:19 PM


  • Washington Goal - Matt Hendricks (9), at 6:37.

    Panthers 0, Capitals 4  3rd - 13:23Apr 6 9:04 PM


  • FLORIDA: 0
    WASHINGTON: 3
    End of 2nd

    Apr 6 8:37 PM


  • Washington Goal - Sean Collins, at 11:42.

    Panthers 0, Capitals 3  2nd - 8:18Apr 6 8:22 PM


  • FLORIDA: 0
    WASHINGTON: 2
    End of 1st

    Apr 6 7:46 PM


  • Washington Power-Play Goal - Jason Chimera (10), at 19:23.

    Panthers 0, Capitals 2  1st - 0:37Apr 6 7:45 PM


  • Washington Power-Play Goal - Mike Knuble (24), at 1:20.

    Panthers 0, Capitals 1  1st - 18:40Apr 6 7:10 PM


  • FLORIDA: 0
    WASHINGTON: 0
    1st Period - 20:00

    Apr 6 7:08 PM
  • 11
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    RUWTbot Added 11 roots

    Panthers vs. CapitalsJan 12 6:02 AM