for this game

Ovechkin, Capitals end mini-skid, edge Panthers

Dec 2, 2007 - 4:47 AM
SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Alex Ovechkin was tired of coming close.

Ovechkin scored the decisive goal early in the third period as the Washington Capitals posted a 2-1 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.

Defenseman Brian Pothier scored the game's initial tally and Brent Johnson stopped 24 shots for Washington, which snapped a three-game losing streak.

"It's about time something good happened," Capitals interim coach Bruce Boudreau said. "How many chances did we have when (Tomas) Vokoun stoned us? We needed a break. If you saw last night's game, many things went the wrong in that for us as well."

The Capitals also reversed their luck against the Panthers, who had beaten Washington three previous times this season - all by one goal.

"It's really nice to return the favor," said Johnson, who started in net for the first time since November 16. "We have been the stronger team a couple of nights, but it's a matter of getting bounces. Tonight, we got them."

In the teams' previous meeting on Wednesday, the contest went to a shootout before Stephen Weiss won it in the 11th round, when he skated in and beat netminder Olaf Kolzig with a backhander.

"We probably shouldn't have won that game in Washington," Panthers captain Olli Jokinen admitted.

In this one, Washington led, 1-0, until Panthers blue-liner Branislav Mezei wristed a shot through traffic and past the glove of Johnson just 2:49 into the third session. It was the defenseman's first goal of the season and just the fourth of his seven-year career.

However, just two minutes later, Ovechkin took matters into his own hands. The 2006 Calder Trophy winner fired a shot from directly to the right of the net, squeezing the puck by the right foot of Vokoun to put the Capitals ahead.

"I tried to shoot the puck for a rebound for (Viktor) Kozlov and it just (was a) lucky (shot) that went into the net," Ovechkin said. "I was surprised, I didn't expect it to get in there."

It was Ovechkin's 20th goal of the season and gave him six in his last five contests.

"It was a lucky goal," Ovechkin said. "Sometimes we don't have luck. Right now, we have luck, and tonight, we deserved to win."

Washington led by one goal for nearly 40 minutes when Pothier's slap shot from just above the right faceoff circle went between Vokoun's legs at 3:53 of the first period.

The two goals were enough for Johnson, who stopped all 15 shots he faced over the first two sessions before knocking away nine in the third.

"We took it to them," Johnson said. "We didn't give them a chance to get anything going. That goal (by Mezei) was a little bit of a screwy kind of goal. That goal (off a faceoff) comes at a time where guys are pulling up their socks. We came right back and scored soon after."

"They worked harder than us, that's the bottom line," Jokinen said. "We worked hard to get back to .500 and I think we fooled ourselves. The Caps played last night and traveled all night, but they come into our building and outwork us. It's embarrassing."

Vokoun made 41 saves - two shy of his season high - for the Panthers, who lost for the first time in five home meetings with the Capitals.

"The effort was not there," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said. "The bottom line in this league is that every game is a battle. You have to be prepared to go to war, and our guys did not want to pay the price."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 2
    FLORIDA 0 0 1 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - BRIAN POTHIER 2 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 3:53
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: FLA - BRANISLAV MEZEI 1 (OLLI JOKINEN) 2:49
    WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 20 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, JEFF SCHULTZ)
    4:38
    POWER-PLAY CONVERSIONS: WAS - 0 OF 2

    Dec 1 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - ALEXANDER OVECHKIN 20 (MICHAEL NYLANDER, JEFF SCHULTZ)
    4:38

    Capitals vs. PanthersDec 1 9:03 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    FLORIDA 1
    3RD PRD: FLA - BRANISLAV MEZEI 1 (OLLI JOKINEN) 2:49

    Capitals vs. PanthersDec 1 8:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1
    FLORIDA 0 0 0 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - BRIAN POTHIER 2 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 3:53
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 16 17 33
    FLA 7 8 15
    GOALIES: WAS - BRENT JOHNS

    Dec 1 8:35 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1
    FLORIDA 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - BRIAN POTHIER 2 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 3:53
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 16 16
    FLA 7 7
    GOALIES: WAS - BRENT JOHNSON
    FLA - TOMAS

    Dec 1 7:45 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    FLORIDA 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - BRIAN POTHIER 2 (ALEXANDER OVECHKIN) 3:53

    Capitals vs. PanthersDec 1 7:15 PM