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Capitals vs. Panthers Recap: Ovechkin’s Record Night Clips Cats

Alex Ovechkin registered his 500th assist and 13th 30 goal season to power Washington to a 4 to 2 win

NHL: Washington Capitals at Florida Panthers Robert Mayer-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals traveled to Florida looking to snap a three game skid and avoid their first four game slide of the season. The Panthers were not up to the task tonight, unable to keep up with Washington’s offense in a 4 to 2 Capitals victory.

Here’s Thursday night's Plus/Minus:

Plus: Alex Ovechkin picked up a secondary assist on Nicklas Backstrom’s goal giving the Great Eight his 500th career assist. Fittingly, Ovechkin and Backstrom are the only players in franchise history to register 500 assists in Capitals colors.

Minus: Who is Denis Malgin? The Panthers rookie tallied two against Braden Holtby.

Ten more notes on the game.

  1. The Capitals had to kill off three early penalties from Brooks Orpik, Lars Eller, and Madison Bowey. Despite Florida’s early opportunity Washington kept them scoreless thanks to excellent penalty killing.
  2. But immediately after Washington’s third successful kill Florida’s Malgin picked up a loose puck in the slot and put the Panthers ahead with a sharp snap shot.
  3. Late in the first frame though Backstrom tallied his own power play goal to knot the score at one two minutes before intermission. The goal is his tenth of the season.
  4. Backstrom’s tally was Washington’s first power play goal against the Panthers in the past three seasons (breaking a 0 for 26 streak).
  5. Malgin would put the Panthers up again midway through the contest. Touches from Vincent Trocheck and Jonathan Huberdeau got the puck quickly across the offensive zone and allowed Malgin to bury his second with ease.
  6. Less than two minutes later Ovechkin tipped home a Orpik shot from the perimeter, deflecting the puck past Panthers’ goaltender Harri Sateri to tie the game at two. The goal is Ovechkin’s 30th of the season, tying Wayne Gretzky with thirteen career 30 goal campaigns.
  7. Before the second intermission the Capitals connected again. Tom Wilson picked up the puck in the offensive zone from Evgeny Kuznetsov and slid a perfect pass to John Carlson who buried it from fifteen feet out for Washington’s first lead of the evening.
  8. Carlson skated in his 575th career contest with the Capitals, tying former Washington defenseman Mike Green for ninth most games played in franchise history.
  9. In the third period Brett Connolly extended the Capitals’ lead to two by whipping an Andre Burakovsky pass past Sateri from atop the slot. Connolly has registered four goals in his past five games including his 13th of the season tonight.
  10. Late in the contest Kuznetsov struggled to get to the bench after a faceoff and had to be carried down the tunnel to the locker room. No immediate word was offered on his condition other than that he would not return to the contest.

Coming off the win Washington will be off until January 31st for the All-Star break.