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For two periods the Washington Capitals deployed a smothering defense on the Florida Panthers. There were cracks in the third period, mostly due to the Caps taking a couple of early penalties, one of which the Panthers scored on. Justin Peters closed and locked the door for the Caps in goal after that, and the Caps converted all three attempts in the skills competition for a 2-1 win
Plus: Team Defense. Yes, the Panthers played on Friday night, but the Caps still held the Panthers to a total of 23 shot attempts over the first two periods. Penalties taken by Nate Schmidt and Jason Chimera in the third period gave the Panthers some momentum, especially when the Cats scored a power play goal off the Schmidt penalty. Justin Peters was solid in goal down the stretch to keep the damage at a minimum.
Minus: The Caps offense, while at times causing Florida goalie Al Montoya grief, did not apply pressure consistently enough to take advantage of the fact that the Panthers were playing in the back half of a back-to-back set of games on the road. It is not often Alex Ovechkin gets so few mentions in the course of a game, but two shots (no points) will do that.
Thing You Didn't Want to See: Brooks Laich took a hit from Shawn Thornton awkwardly 15 minutes into the third period. He went down the tunnel immediately and did not return.