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Panthers Vs. Capitals: Panthers Pounce On Caps Early, Lead 3-1 After 20 Minutes

Perhaps the Florida Panthers really wanted to see Tomas Vokoun.

The Panthers pounced on Michal Neuvirth and Washington Capitals early and scored three unanswered goals to take a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Stephen Weiss gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at 6:50 on the power play. With Mathieu Perreault in the penalty box for high sticking, Brian Campbell fed Weiss, whose slap shot deflected off Dennis Wideman's stick and over Neuvirth's shoulder for his 10th goal of the season.

On the ensuing faceoff, Mike Santorelli took a pass from Dmitry Kulikov, drove down the right side and fired what seemed like a harmless snap shot. Yet, that harmless shot beat Neuvirth and just 13 seconds after Weiss' goal, the Panthers had a 2-0 lead.

Kulikov scored a goal of his own at 16:31 to give Florida its second power play goal of the night and a 3-0 lead. Luckily for Washington, Mike Knuble responded when his slap shot beat Scott Clemmensen five-hole for his third goal of the season and first in 16 games 40 seconds after Kulikov's goal.