Capitals Vs. Panthers: Caps Fall 4-3 In Overtime, But Are Tied For First Place In Southeast Division

The Caps rallied from a three goal deficit to force overtime, but fell in overtime 4-3 against the Panthers. Because they earned a point, they are now tied for first place in the Southeast Division.

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Capitals Vs. Panthers: Washington Falls 4-3 In Overtime

Well, that didn't last very long.

After entering the period with the Panthers being in another power play, the Panthers last ranked PP group struck as Dennis Wideman snuck a wrist shot by Michal Neuvirth, handing the Caps a 4-3 loss.

This was a valiant effort for the Washington Capitals, but in the end, it came down to two factors: lack of scoring on power play chances, and giving up too many power play scoring chances.

The Caps were unable to capitalize on any power play chances in this game and the Panthers scored 3 of their 4 goals on power plays, including the game winner. 

It goes without saying, but if the Capitals are going to do anything big this year, they must rectify the power play situation. Too often they have put themselves in bad situations and leaving the outmanned Michal Neurvirth at a disadvantage. Conversely, they simply have not scored when given power play opportunities, especially early in games.

The Caps failed to regain the lead in the Southeast division, but they are now tied for the lead. Their point streak will continue as they have now earned 9 straight points.

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Capitals Vs. Panthers: Caps Force Overtime After Rallying From Three Goal Deficit

The Caps have forced overtime after tying the game at 3-3.

Early in the period, the Caps were able to tie the game at 3 when Marcus Johansson was able to score on a tip in from Matt Hendricks

From there, the Capitals were given yet another scoring chance when they were awarded the power play opportunity when Evgeny Dadonov was called for tripping. It looked like the Caps, with all the momentum, were primed to finally take the lead. But as has been the case for the Caps recently, their power play unit failed them yet again. 

After a successful penalty kill, the Caps were primed to win the game in the final seconds. After getting several good chances thwarted by goal tender Tomas Vokoun, the Caps head into the locker room tied with the Panthers, 3-3.

The Caps will head into the overtime with with a 4 on 3 power play.

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Capitals Vs. Panthers: Caps Respond In 2nd, Cut Panther Lead To 3-2

After an action packed period, the Capitals trail the Panthers 3-2 as they go into the second intermission.

The period looked like it was going to unfold the way the first period did. It started with the Caps having a power play opportunity (including a brief two man advantage) that they again could not take advantage of.

The Panthers were then given another big scoring opportunity when they had another two man advantage on Washington when holding was called on Jason Chimera and hooking was called on John Carlson. Florida responded with a backhand goal by David Booth, giving the Panthers a 3-0 lead that looked to be too much for Washington.

However, the Caps responded. On what looked to be a scripted play, Knuble launched a long pass to Marcus Johansson, who made a quick pass to Brooks Laich, who then passed it right back to Johansson, who then concluded the pretty play by hitting the wrist shot to cut the Panthers lead to 3-1. It was the rookie's fourth goal of the season.

That Caps were not done there. Alex Ovechkin came streaking down the left side of the ice, and fired a nifty pass to Mike Knuble, who then nailed a tough wrist shot just above the glove hand of Florida goal tender Tomas Vokoun, making the score 3-2 Panthers.

The Caps have responded to another slow start, but can they keep the pedal down and tie the game or take the lead? They cannot give up two man advantages like they have the first two periods. If they can do that, and make the most of power play opportunities, they could tie the game or maybe even take the lead. 

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Capitals Vs. Panthers: Caps Start Slow, Trail Panthers 2-0 After First Period

The Capitals have dug themselves in an early hole against the Panthers as they trail Florida 2-0 after one period.

Washington had an early scoring chance when they were awarded a power play chance after a hooking call on Radek Dvorak. Unfortunately for the Caps, they were unable to cash in, a trend that has continued over the last several weeks for the team.  

However, when Florida was given it's chance to score, they were able to respond. A two man advantage was given to the Panthers when boarding was called on Niklas Backstrom and interference was called on Mike Knuble. From there, it was Mike Santorelli who took advantage. Stephen Weiss' shot attempt hit Caps goal tender Michal Neuvirth's inside pad, and deflected right to Santorelli, who tipped it in, giving the Panthers the 1-0 lead. 

Shortly after, the Panthers got a little stroke of luck to extend their lead. On a long range shot Bryan Mccabbe, Marty Reasoner unknowingly deflected the puck right past Neuvirth, giving the Panthers the 2-0 lead. 

The Caps have had a trend of starting games slow, and just like in their recent games, they will need to turn it on in the second and third periods.

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Capitals Vs. Panthers: Caps Look To Regain Southeast Division Lead Tonight In Florida

The Washington Capitals head down to the sun shine state to take on the Florida Panthers in a key divisional match up that could potentially put the Caps back in first place in the division. 

The Caps will attempt to take that division lead on a day where the NHL announced that Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green would represent the Capitals in the league's All Star Game. 

However, Washington will be without a key component tonight. Alexander Semin will be out for at least the next two games because of a hip injury, and that could slow the Washington attack tonight.The injury made the Caps re-call right-wing Brian Willsie from AHL Hershey.

Although the Panthers are struggling right now, the Caps will need to continue to be weary of their divisional foe. They have split the series so far this season, with each team notching a win at Verizon Center. Washington can look to continue their road success tonight as they will face the Panthers for the first time this season at home.

Should the Caps be successful, not only will they regain their lead in the Southeast Division (they are currently trailing the Tampa Bay Lightning by 1 point), but they can extend their point streak up to 10.

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