for this game

Zednik, Kreps help Panthers end slide by edging Capitals

Nov 16, 2007 - 4:51 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Richard Zednik decided to put a halt to a current skid.

Zednik scored the game's first tally and rookie Kamil Kreps netted the winner as the Florida Panthers posted a 2-1 victory over the Washington Capitals on Thursday in a battle between Southeast Division rivals.

Tomas Vokoun made 10 of his 26 saves in the final period for Florida, which ended a four-game losing streak.

"There's nothing in the world like winning," Vokoun said. "It was a big game, obviously being on the losing streak. The way things were going, the way they were, it's great to get the two points, but it's just one little step forward."

The Panthers, who began the season with three straight losses, were in danger of dropping five straight for the first time since a 12-game slide from October 27-November 23, 2005.

Worse for Florida's psyche, some of its setbacks - including the last two - came late in the third period. "I know sometimes when you lose games, you're a little uptight," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "Hopefully, this game will be able to springboard us to be able to finish."

"We don't want to think about stuff like (last-second losses). What happened is in the past," Vokoun added. "The losing will make some marks on you. It can get in the back of your head."

Zednik, who returned to the lineup after missing two games with the flu, got the Panthers off to a good start in the first session.

Defenseman Ruslan Salei took a shot from the blue line that teammate Jozef Stumpel stopped with his stick in heavy traffic. The 35-year-old Stumpel then made a quick pass to Zednik, who lifted to puck into the net at 7:58 to give Florida a 1-0 lead.

It was the seventh goal of the season for Zednik, a two-time former Capital.

In the second period, a mistake by Washington helped Florida double its lead.

Blue-liner Tom Poti's cross-ice pass attempt was picked off by Kreps in the neutral zone. Kreps, who turns 23 on Monday, raced in and flipped the puck past Olaf Kolzig, beating the netminder high to the stick side at 4:13 for a 2-0 bulge.

It was the third career tally for Kreps, who had just one in 14 games for Florida last season.

"Just a turnover and a breakaway," a smiling Kreps said. "I tried to keep it on the left side, my backhand, and get it high and it went in. It was my first game-winner, so it feels good, but the most important thing is that we won the game."

Alex Ovechkin halved the deficit 2 1/2 minutes later.

After receiving a pass from Michael Nylander while being dogged by a defender in front of the Panthers' net, the superstar whiffed on his first attempt but whacked his second shot past netminder Tomas Vokoun to draw Washington within 2-1.

But that was as close as it would get. "The season has kind of broken up on us the last couple weeks," Ovechkin said. "We had our chances there at the end, but the bottom line is, we lost the game."

The goal raised the 2006 Calder Trophy winner's season total to 12, nearly 30 percent of the Capitals' output this campaign.

Vokoun also stopped seven shots in the first period and nine in the second for the Panthers, who have won six of seven against the Capitals.

"I don't know what it is about Florida," said Capitals captain Chris Clark, who returned after missing eight games with an ear injury. "We always seem to struggle against them. The thing is, though, we need to win these close games, and we're just not getting it done."

Kolzig made 23 saves for Washington, which has scored fewer than two goals six times this season.

"We had chance after chance but couldn't finish it off," Nylander said. "We were around the net and getting opportunities. It wasn't for lack of effort."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 0 1
    FLORIDA 1 1 0 2 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 7 (JOZEF STUMPEL, RUSLAN SALEI) 7:58
    2ND PRD: FLA - KAMIL KREPS 2 (UNASSISTED) 4:13
    WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 12 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, BRIAN
    POTHIER) 6:55
    3RD PRD: NONE
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: WAS -

    Nov 15 9:51 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1
    FLORIDA 1 1 2 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 7 (JOZEF STUMPEL, RUSLAN SALEI) 7:58
    2ND PRD: FLA - KAMIL KREPS 2 (UNASSISTED) 4:13
    WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 12 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, BRIAN
    POTHIER) 6:55
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND

    Nov 15 9:00 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 12 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, BRIAN POTHIER)
    6:55

    Capitals vs. PanthersNov 15 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    FLORIDA 2
    2ND PRD: FLA - KAMIL KREPS 2 (UNASSISTED) 4:13

    Capitals vs. PanthersNov 15 8:34 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    FLORIDA 1 1 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 7 (JOZEF STUMPEL, RUSLAN SALEI) 7:58
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 7 7
    FLA 7 7
    GOALIES: WAS - OLAF KOLZIG
    FLA

    Nov 15 8:10 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - RICHARD ZEDNIK 7 (JOZEF STUMPEL, RUSLAN SALEI) 7:58

    Capitals vs. PanthersNov 15 7:53 PM