Found March 06, 2013 on
With growing confidence, the Washington Capitals are playing some of their best hockey of the season.
Their current surge began against the Florida Panthers, and the Capitals can continue it by beating them yet again Thursday night and recording a seventh straight home victory in the series.
Though Washington (9-11-1) and Florida (7-11-5) are tied for last in the Eastern Conference with 19 points, the Panthers have lost 10 of 13 while the Capitals have won seven of 10 since a 2-8-1 start.
Eric Fehr had two assists and scored while falling to the ice 37 seconds into overtime to help Washington overcome a three-goal deficit in Tuesday's 4-3 win over Boston.
"I think it says a lot about our character," said Fehr, who recorded his first three-point game in five years. "This team believes in ourselves a lot more than we did in the beginning of the season. We're a pretty confident bunch right now and we believe in the system. We're playing together as a team."
The Capitals averaged 2.3 goals and yielded 3.7 per game through the first 11, but have scored 3.4 and allowed 2.1 per contest in the last 10. Braden Holtby, who has two shutouts in his last four starts, gave up three first-period goals on nine shots against the Bruins but stopped all 24 the rest of the way.
"We know how important it is to string some wins together," Fehr said. "To come back against a team that good means a lot, and hopefully we can keep going."
Washington's turnaround started with an 11-goal outburst during a home-and-home sweep of Florida on Feb. 9 and 12. Winners of five straight overall in the series, the Capitals are 15-4-1 in the past 20 meetings with victories in nine of 10 at Washington. The Panthers have lost their last six visits by a 24-6 score, getting shut out in three of the past four.
Holtby, who has started 10 in a row, stopped 27 shots in a 5-0 home victory over the Panthers last month and survived a 6-5 overtime win at Florida three days later.
Washington's Nicklas Backstrom had two assists in that latest matchup and has 10 over his past nine games.
Three of Troy Brouwer's team-high nine goals have come against the Panthers, but it's uncertain if an illness will keep him out a second straight contest Thursday.
Though the Panthers will again be without a number of injured key players, they look to build on Tuesday's 4-1 victory over Winnipeg. Jonathan Huberdeau scored his team-leading 11th goal on a penalty shot, and Jacob Markstrom made 30 saves to help Florida end a three-game losing streak.
"Every single guy in this lineup worked as hard as they could and it showed pretty much the whole game," forward Shawn Matthias told the Panthers' official website. "We worked the corners and battled for pucks and that's how we're going to be successful here. It felt good winning and we have to keep this going now."
The Panthers must do that minus veteran forward Stephen Weiss, who will undergo season-ending wrist injury. Goaltender Jose Theodore, forwards Kris Versteeg and Scottie Upshall, and defensemen Dmitry Kulikov, Mike Weaver and Ed Jovanovski are also out.
Markstrom, 1-2-0 with a 2.36 GAA, is expected to see a majority of the time with Theodore (leg) sidelined four to six weeks.
Huberdeau, who scored twice in the overtime loss to Washington, has three goals in two games after going pointless in five straight.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
HE SHOOTS HE SCORES
Alex Ovechkin has been the subject of criticism for his sub-par season, and he finally responded to NBC analyst Mike Milbury.
Courtesy of Massholesports,
I actually remember watching this live last weekend laughing that Mike Milbury was actually ripping Ovechkin. Funny thing is Ovechkin will continue doing it, he's a spoiled brat who is extremely gifted, but still acts like a little kid. I hope the Bruins stick it to the Caps tonight.
Stephen Weiss may have played his final game with the Florida Panthers, with the team revealing on Tuesday that the veteran forward is expected to have season-ending wrist surgery.
Weiss will have the surgery next week, said Panthers general manager Dale Tallon.
''Not good news,'' Tallon said in Sunrise, Fla., after the Panthers completed a game-day morning skate...
What are Caps fans supposed to think at this point?
Fresh off the team’s 4-3 comeback victory against Boston Tuesday, Karl Alzner stood in the locker room, patiently trying to help me make sense of the Gordian knot that is Washington’s season.
During a recent radio interview Alzner gave to LaVar and Dukes at 106.7 the Fan, I remembered hearing the Capitals’ defenseman say...
WASHINGTON (AP) -- What a way to start: four goals in eight shots.
John Erskine, Wojtek Wolski, John Carlson and Mike Ribeiro all scored before the game was 8 minutes old, and the Washington Capitals climbed out of a tie for last in the Eastern Conference by beating the Florida Panthers 7-1 Thursday night.
Florida's Jacob Markstrom allowed two goals on two shots and was pulled...
So where was this Capitals team for the first month of the season? Two goals in the first 3:10, which chased Panthers’ starting netminder Jacob Markstrom. Then two more on Scott Clemmenson to make it four goals on their first eight shots. Three points each for Alex Ovechkin, Mike Ribiero, and Wojtek Wolski; two points for Steve Oleksy in just his second game; plus ratings handed...
from Justin Goldman at NHL.com,
With Justin Peters and Keith Kinkaid making their season debuts Tuesday night, 15 teams have now used at least three goalies this season. Of those 16 goalies (Calgary has used two), we're sounding the fantasy alarm on one we feel is primed to have a breakout in the second half of the season.
Jacob Markstrom is just one piece of a...
For $80, fans could choose a signed Washington Capitals hockey stick from a line-up of 250 sticks, all in the name of charity.
Score is best!!)))aha. (My San Antonio)
The Washington Capitals utterly humiliated the Florida Panthers on Thursday night, dominating them by a 7-1 to win their third consecutive game. Getting goals from seven different players: John Erskine, Wojtek Wolski, Alex Ovechkin, Eric Fehr, Mathieu Perreault, John Carlson, and Mike Ribeiro, as well as 29 saves from Braden...
Losing sucks but everyone likes a good scrap.
After taking a couple good shots early in the fight Thornton was able to shed the elbow pad and deliver a devastating right that put John Erskine on his ass.
12 p.m. ET: The Bruins had high hopes for the 2011-12 season after winning the Stanley Cup a season prior. Those high hopes were shot down early in last season’s playoffs, however, thanks to the Washington Captials.
The B’s get their first chance to exact a little bit of revenge on Tuesday night when they had to the nation’s capital to take on the Caps.
It’s the first meeting...
Florida Panthers forward Shawn Matthias unleashed this beauty against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday night. Matthias came down and turned Jets defenseman Mark Stuart inside out, and then unleashed a bomb that went high glove on Ondrei Pavelec. This was a beauty to say the least and helped the Panthers beat the Jets 4-1.