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Kreps' goal helps Panthers down Capitals

Feb 16, 2008 - 5:33 AM SUNRISE, Florida (Ticker) -- Kamil Kreps snapped a tie 8 1/2 minutes into the third period and All-Star Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves to lead the Florida Panthers to a 4-2 victory over the Washington Capitals on Friday night in a Southeast Division battle.

Rostislav Olesz, Nathan Horton and David Booth also scored for the Panthers, who are 5-2-1 in their last eight games.

With the contest knotted at 2-2, Kreps received some help in giving the Panthers the lead at 8:27 of the third. Kreps received a pass from Ville Peltonen behind the net and banked the puck off the back of goaltender Brent Johnson's leg and in for his fifth goal of the season.

"I just saw (Johnson) out of position a little bit, so I tried to get it in front real quick," Kreps said. "It went off his pad and it's a lucky goal, but it counts."

"I felt it," Johnson said of the puck. "The shot came and hit the side of the net. I was just looking back and saw Johnny (Erskine) coming around the one way, and I didn't see their guy coming. I think Johnny just got his heel on it and deflected it back and off my leg and in. It was just one of those terrible breaks."

Booth, who along with Kreps also had an assist, sealed the victory with an empty-netter with 48 seconds remaining.

"When you look at the first goal and the Kreps' goal, they ended up being huge goals, getting pucks in front of the net and going for rebounds," Panthers coach Jacques Martin said.

Florida had tied it 2-2 at 3:57 of the third, when Horton netted his 18th of the campaign. Stephen Weiss received a feed from Booth at the edge of the crease and delivered a touch pass to Horton, who fired a sharp-angle shot past Johnson.

Washington grabbed a 2-1 edge just 52 seconds into the period as Tomas Fleischmann unleashed a wrist shot from the high slot that sailed over the glove of Vokoun.

Olesz, who had been out since January 16 when stitches in his surgically repaired right hand split open, began the scoring at 5:52 of the first. After Johnson stopped his initial attempt, Olesz grabbed the rebound and lifted in a backhander for his eighth goal of the season.

The Capitals answered on the power play early in the second period, when Alexander Semin scored his 15th goal off a rebound just 72 seconds into the session.

But the Panthers, "played very good the last 18 minutes," according to Olesz, and that proved to be the difference.

Johnson turned aside 25 shots for Washington, which is winless over its first two games on a three-game road trip against division foes. The club suffered a 3-2 shootout loss to the Atlanta Thrashers on Wednesday and will visit the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday.

"I think they just sat back and waited for us to make mistakes," Erskine said. "I think that's what is killing us lately. We let down for a couple minutes and they jump on us. We seem to be fighting back all the time."

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was more blunt.

"On all four goals, we gave them four goals," Boudreau said. "I thought we were in pretty good shape when we were up 2-1. We looked like we were controlling the game pretty well.

"I thought Mike (Green) was very lackadaisical on their second goal. The third goal was a shot from behind the net. Even on the empty-net goal, we put it right on their stick."

The Panthers moved into a tie with the Capitals for third place in the Southeast with 60 points. They sit just two points out of first, behind both the Carolina Hurricanes and Thrashers.

"It was huge because it was a four-point game," Kreps said. "The division is so tight, it's (a few) points between first place and last place."

The Tampa Bay Lightning are fifth in the division but just six points out of first.

Florida plays at Carolina on Saturday night.

"It's huge," Martin said. "We have a chance to tie them."








  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1 2
    FLORIDA 1 0 3 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 8 (GREGORY CAMPBELL, KAMIL KREPS) 5:52
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER SEMIN 15 (TOMAS FLEISCHMANN) 1:12
    3RD PRD: WAS - TOMAS FLEISCHMANN 7 (DAVID STECKEL) 0:57
    FLA - NATHAN HORTON 18 (STEPHEN WEIS

    Feb 15 10:09 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 4
    3RD PRD: FLA - (EN) DAVID BOOTH 17 (UNASSISTED) 19:13

    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 10:00 PM
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    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 10:00 PM
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    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 9:58 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 3
    3RD PRD: FLA - KAMIL KREPS 5 (VILLE PELTONEN, GREGORY CAMPBELL) 8:27

    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 9:41 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 2
    3RD PRD: FLA - NATHAN HORTON 18 (STEPHEN WEISS, DAVID BOOTH) 3:57

    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 9:34 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    FLORIDA 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - TOMAS FLEISCHMANN 7 (DAVID STECKEL) 0:57

    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 1 1
    FLORIDA 1 0 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 8 (GREGORY CAMPBELL, KAMIL KREPS) 5:52
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER SEMIN 15 (TOMAS FLEISCHMANN) 1:12
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 6 16

    Feb 15 9:09 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    FLORIDA 1
    2ND PRD: WAS - (PP) ALEXANDER SEMIN 15 (TOMAS FLEISCHMANN) 1:12

    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 8:36 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 - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 8 (GREGORY CAMPBELL) 5:52
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 6 6
    FLA 9 9
    GOALIES: WAS - BRENT JOHNSON
    FLA - TOMAS

    Feb 15 8:13 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    FLORIDA 1
    1ST PRD: FLA - ROSTISLAV OLESZ 8 (GREGORY CAMPBELL) 5:52

    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 7:48 PM
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    Capitals vs. PanthersFeb 15 12:27 PM
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    Capitals vs. PanthersJan 24 7:50 AM