Mathieu Perreault and Alex Ovechkin's goals have given Washington a 2-0 lead over Florida after 20 minutes.
Perreault's goal was Washington's fastest to open a game this season. After the opening faceoff, Jason Chimera took the puck below the goal line before sending a backhanded centering pass towards Perreault. The pass leaked through two Panthers defenders and found Perreault, whose wrist shot beat Scott Clemmensen to give the Caps a 1-0 lead. It was Perreault's ninth goal of the season and fifth in his last six games.
Ovechkin made it 2-0 at 9:21 with a rare power play goal. Ovechkin took a pass from Dennis Wideman and successfully completed his patented move - a drive down the left boards, a cut to the inside and a wrist shot - for his 21st goal of the season.
Florida, however, did not back down as they had several quality scoring chances in the second half of the period, but former Panther Tomas Vokoun made 10 saves to keep the Caps in the lead.