Florida at Washington

Strong power-play output helps Panthers down Capitals


WASHINGTON -- The Florida Panthers were preparing to face Alex Ovechkin and the rest of the Washington Capitals when their pregame video session was cut short less than halfway through because the visitors' projector broke.

"We didn't get to go over most of our stuff, including the power play," Panthers coach Peter DeBoer said. "Maybe it's a good thing."

Sure worked out OK. Stephen Weiss, Bryan McCabe and Jay Bouwmeester scored power-play goals in the first period, Florida held Ovechkin without a point until the final minute, and the Panthers beat the Southeast Division-leading Capitals 6-2 on Sunday.

Florida came in having scored on fewer than 15 percent of its man-advantage chances this season, ranking 26th of 30 NHL teams. But its power play was just fine on this day.

"Maybe that's the secret: We've got to forgo the preparation," DeBoer said. "It clicked tonight and hopefully we can continue that."

McCabe finished with three assists, and Weiss had two. Florida's other goals were scored by rookie Michael Frolik, Richard Zednik and Jassen Cullimore.

"It was such a boost to our confidence to just get our power play going. It's been so long," McCabe said. "We've been struggling immensely of late."

The Capitals - coming off a rousing overtime victory Saturday at Eastern Conference-leading Boston -- heard boos in their building and pulled starting goalie Jose Theodore after falling behind 4-1 in the opening period.

"Lots of mistakes," said Ovechkin, whose league-leading 46th goal came with 22 seconds left.

Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau was not pleased with his team's performance and was not willing to concede that it was understandable given what happened in Boston.

"We got beat to every loose puck. It seemed like they had the puck in the power play for the whole two minutes in our zone every time," Boudreau said. "I can't sugarcoat it and I can't find excuses for it. We weren't very good."

The Panthers, meanwhile, turned things around one day after a 7-2 loss at New Jersey. Florida entered Sunday second in the Southeast Division and seventh in the East, barely in playoff position.

Washington started well, going up 1-0 less than 1½ minutes into the game on Alexander Semin's power-play goal off an assist from Brooks Laich. But after that, Panthers goalie Craig Anderson and his defense settled down.

"We very easily could have said, 'Oh, here we go again. It's not our night.' But we buckled down and really took it to them after that," McCabe said.

Florida could have had even more. With Washington still ahead, Theodore was whistled for throwing his stick at the puck, which gave the Panthers a penalty shot. Theodore's glove save on David Booth's attempt preserved Washington's lead -- for 13 seconds.

That's how long it took for Florida to tie the game, starting a 3-for-3 showing on the man-advantage in the first period: Weiss scored at 3:53 off McCabe's assist, McCabe scored at 6:59, and Bouwmeester made it 3-1 with 14:19 gone off assists from Weiss and McCabe.

Boudreau might not have wanted to talk about a letdown after beating Boston, DeBoer did think that might have played a role in Sunday's outcome.

"I thought they were a little bit flat," Florida's coach said, "and to our credit we took advantage of it."


  • Washington was whistled for six penalties, twice as many as Florida. "Sometimes, the referees don't see their penalties," Ovechkin said. "They see more our penalties."
  • Florida has alternated wins and losses during its past nine games.
  • The Capitals recalled F Jay Beagle from AHL affiliate Hershey. RW Viktor Kozlov sat out for the 10th time in 12 games because of a groin injury.
  • Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom extended his point streak to a career-high 10 games.
  • Washington broke a franchise record with its 11th consecutive sellout.
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Stephen Weiss takes a look at his handy work, netting a first-period goal.  (AP)
Stephen Weiss takes a look at his handy work, netting a first-period goal. (AP)
Related Links
Florida  (32-23-8) «4116
Washington (40-19-5)1012
Three Stars
J. Bouwmeester

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
B. McCabe

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 3
S. Weiss

Goals: 1
Assist(s): 2

Related Video

Scoring Summary
01:26Power Play - Alexander Semin (25), Slap Shot. Assist: Laich
03:53Power Play - Stephen Weiss (11), Wrist Shot. Assist: McCabe, Frolik
06:59Power Play - Bryan McCabe (12), Wrist Shot. Assist: Bouwmeester
14:19Power Play - Jay Bouwmeester (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Weiss, McCabe
16:16Richard Zednik (13), Slap Shot. Assist: Ballard, McLean
10:24Jassen Cullimore (2), Slap Shot. Assist: McLean, Weiss
07:20Michael Frolik (15), Slap Shot. Assist: McCabe, Ballard
19:38Alex Ovechkin (46), Snap Shot. Assist: Backstrom, Jurcina
Penalty Summary
28.0Dvorak, 2 min, Tripping
02:25Jurcina, 2 min, Hooking
06:04Fleischmann, 2 min, Hooking
08:39Bouwmeester, 2 min, Hooking
13:57Backstrom, 2 min, Holding
03:38Tarnasky, 5 min, Fighting
03:38Bradley, 5 min, Fighting
10:56Beagle, 2 min, Tripping
16:29Green, 2 min, High-Sticking
08:29Green, 2 min, Delay of Game - Puck Over Glass
Shots On Goal
Craig Anderson59:19322
Michal Neuvirth40:00142
Jose Theodore20:00134
Power Play Conversions
Power Play
Game Information
Attendance - 18277
Referees - Stephane Auger, Brad Watson
Linesmen - Shane Heyer, Jonny Murray
Other Games
Colu 1 Final
Van 3
Pitt 4 Final
Dal 1
LA 2 Final
Chi 4
Phi 0 Final
NJ 3
TB 8 Final
Cal 6