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Panthers Vs. Capitals Score: Jay Beagle Has Washington Ahead

Dale Hunter is going to need more production from his stars if the Washington Capitals make the playoffs, but he'll be happy with goals from unlikely places. The Caps' big offensive stars were hardly involved in the first period of their crucial game against the Florida Panthers, but Jay Beagle was able to bag a goal, putting the Caps 1-0 up at the intermission.

The goal came six minutes into the period, with Troy Brouwer and Karl Alzner picking up the assists. None of Alexander Ovechkin, Alexander Semin or Nicklas Backstrom managed a shot on target in the first period. The Caps had nine turnovers in the first period as well. They'll be happy with the lead, but they're not playing their best at the moment and eventually, their luck will probably run out if their best offensive players don't get involved in the game.

If the Caps win this game in regulation, it will still be mathematically possible to win the division, but they will need some help on Saturday. In the race for the eighth spot in the East, they control their own destiny.

For more on this game and all things Capitals hockey, please head over to Japers' Rink. For a view from the other bench, check out Litter Box Cats, SB Nation's Florida Panthers blog. You can also head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page for more on this and every NHL game.

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