Instant Analysis: Caps 5, Panthers 0

Instant Analysis: Caps 5, Panthers 0
February 9, 2013, 9:45 pm
Share This Post

Instant analysis of the Capitals’ 5-0 win over the Florida Panthers Saturday night at Verizon Center:

Game in a nutshell: Two nights after criticizing his goaltenders and accusing his team of “leaking oil,” Capitals coach Adam Oates saw his team play its most complete game. Goaltender Braden Holtby turned aside all 27 shots he faced and picked up his first assist of the season, while Troy Brouwer scored two goals and Alex Ovechkin, Mathieu Perreault and Joel Ward picked up one each for the Caps’ biggest offensive output of the season. 

What it means: The Caps improved to 3-8-1 but remain last in the Eastern Conference with seven points, two behind the Panthers and four behind the eighth-place Carolina Hurricanes.

Ovi watch: Alex Ovechkin scored his first even-strength goal of the season off a faceoff win by Mike Ribeiro, who has a team-high 14 points [4 goals, 10 assists]. Ovechkin saw 20:29 of ice time, hit the net five times and delivered one hit and blocked one shot. 

Penalty conscious: The Caps took just four penalties and gave the Panthers just two power plays, holding them scoreless on each. They also went 1-for-2 on the power play and now have power-play goals in four straight games.

Save of the night: Braden Holtby set the tone when he snatched a Kris Versteeg wrist shot with his glove on a 2-on-1 rush. A few minutes later Troy Brouwer deflected a John Carlson slapshot for his first goal of the night.

Unwelcome return: Former Caps goaltender Jose Theodore had a rough night, allowing five goals on 21 shots before getting replaced by Scott Clemmensen with 8:32 remaining in the game. 

Grit factor: The Caps’ line of Mathieu Perreault [1 goal, 1 assist], Joel Ward [1 goal, 1 assists] Eric Fehr [1 assists] was dominant all night   

What’s next: The Caps and Panthers go at it again Tuesday night when the Caps begin a three-game road trip that takes them to Sunrise on Tuesday, Tampa on Thursday and New York on Saturday.