The Washington Capitals could not be blamed if they decided to coast through Wednesday's game with the Florida Panthers, considering that they've locked up the Southeast Division. Yet, they decided to keep rolling.
Mike Knuble and Jason Chimera's power play goals have given the Capitals a 2-0 lead over the Panthers after the first period.
With Mike Weaver in the penalty box for tripping Marcus Johansson, the Capitals took advantage early. Alex Ovechkin started the rush from the defensive zone and sent a pass to Brooks Laich at center ice. Laich drove down the boards and towards the net, found Knuble cutting through the slot and sent a perfect centering pass that Knuble tapped past Scott Clemmensen for his 24th goal of the season at 1:20. Entering the game, the Caps were 1-17 on the power play against the Panthers in four games.
Jason Chimera added to the lead at 19:23 off of a beautiful pass from Nicklas Backstrom. Backstrom took a pass from Laich and wrapped around the net. Clemmensen looked behind him as he expected him to continue around the way, but Backstrom instead threw a centering pass to Chimera in the slot, who then scored his second power play this week.
Despite a two-goal lead, the Panthers are outplaying the Caps. Florida is outshooting Washington 18-6, but could not get anything past Semyon Varlamov.