Florida at Washington

Defenseman Green scores in six straight games for winning Capitals

CBSSports.com wire reports
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WASHINGTON -- Mike Green is on the best goal-scoring streak by an NHL defenseman in a quarter-century.

Green tallied twice in the third period and helped kill off a five-minute penalty that expired with a second left Saturday night, leading Washington to a 3-1 victory over Florida and giving him goals in six consecutive games.

That's a franchise record and something no defenseman had done since Hall of Famer Ray Bourque had a six-game run for Boston in 1984, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

"It certainly has been Mike's last two weeks. Every game, everything he's touching is turning to gold," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "And I hope it doesn't end."

Now there is no doubt: Green has joined Alex Ovechkin as a player the Capitals can count on as a game-changer.

"It's nice to be able to talk about more than one guy," said Boudreau, so accustomed to speaking about reigning MVP and current NHL goal leader Ovechkin.

Green's initial breakthrough came last season, when he led NHL blueliners with 18 goals. That seems like a nice, little number now: Saturday's tiebreaker on a power play 43 seconds into the third period and late empty-netter give him a career-high 19 goals and 46 points in 2008-09. He leads the league's defensemen in both of those categories, despite having missed 13 games while injured.

All that, even though Green has noticed a significant increase in the amount of attention paid to him by opponents.

"If there's another guy that they can watch, then that means somebody else is open and somebody else will score," he said.

Green's first goal came off assists from Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, while Panthers center Stephen Weiss was in the penalty box for holding.

"I picked up the puck too late, when it was going by me," Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun said. "It was a good shot. Good players make good shots."

Green's second was unassisted and came with 1:13 left on a length-of-the-ice shot.

"He's got tons of confidence right now. He can play for 30 minutes and never look tired," Boudreau said. "And his shot is so accurate. It must be a little bit like a baseball player that's in a groove, just hitting everything they throw to him."

Jose Theodore made 21 saves for the Capitals. The Southeast Division leaders have won four of five games and put a little more distance between themselves and Florida, which entered the night in second place, 12 points behind.

Green will get the headlines, of course, but Washington's penalty-killing unit deserves plenty of credit for the victory. A five-minute penalty on defenseman Shaone Morrissonn for checking from behind gave Florida a 5-on-3 chance for more than a minute and a power play that expired with a second left in the game.

"It wasn't a very smart play by Mo," Boudreau said. "You've just got to be able to control your emotions out there."

Still, the Capitals held their lead, ending a stretch of 13 straight games in which they allowed a power-play goal.

"We were embarrassed by that," forward Dave Steckel said.

Notes

  • Eric Fehr put Washington ahead only 33 seconds into the game, the second game in a row the Capitals scored in the first minute.
  • The Panthers tied it 8:35 into the game on Keith Ballard's fifth goal.
  • Ovechkin took six shots in the first period -- one fewer than the entire Panthers team.
  • The Capitals recalled F Alexandre Giroux from AHL affiliate Hershey, in case F Brooks Laich (bruised leg) was unable to play. But Laich was in uniform -- he's one of three Capitals to have appeared in every game this season -- and Giroux was scratched.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
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Mike Green (52) sets a Capitals record for longest goal streak by a defenseman. (Getty Images)
Mike Green (52) sets a Capitals record for longest goal streak by a defenseman. (Getty Images)

Scoreboard
Florida (25-19-8)1001
Washington  (34-16-4) «1023
Three Stars
J. Theodore
WAS


Saves: 20
Save Pct.: .952
D. Steckel
WAS


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 1
T. Vokoun
FLA


Saves: 36
Save Pct.: .947
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
33.0Eric Fehr (6), Snap Shot. Assist: Fleischmann, Steckel
08:35Keith Ballard (5), Slap Shot. Assist: Zednik, Stillman
2ND PERIOD
None
3RD PERIOD
43.0Power Play - Mike Green (18), Wrist Shot. Assist: Ovechkin, Semin
18:47Short - Mike Green (19), Empty Net, Unassisted.
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
06:11Weiss, 4 min, High-Sticking
07:26Green, 2 min, Tripping
2ND PERIOD
06:52Cullimore, 2 min, Holding
11:58Ovechkin, 2 min, High-Sticking
19:10Weiss, 2 min, Holding
3RD PERIOD
05:56Fehr, 2 min, Interference
14:04Fedorov, 2 min, Holding
14:59Morrisonn, 5 min, Checking from Behind
14:59Morrisonn, 10 min, Game Misconduct
Shots On Goal
 123T
Florida79521
Washington15111339
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Tomas Vokoun58:28362
Jose Theodore60:00201
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Florida0-for-4
Washington1-for-4
Game Information
Attendance - 18277
Referees - Bill McCreary, Rob Martell
Linesmen - Greg Devorski, Tim Nowak
 
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Phi 4 Final
OT
Bos 3
Car 7 Final
Pho 2
Tor 5 Final
Mon 2
SJ 2 Final
OT
Colu 3
NYI 0 Final
TB 1
Buf 2 Final
Ott 3
Edm 3 Final
Det 8
LA 3 Final
NJ 1
Chi 3 Final
Van 7
Colo 1 Final
StL 4
Ana 2 Final
Cal 1