Things turned around for the Washington Capitals on Saturday night. Though it was just one game, all involved with the Caps have to be hopeful that things are looking up. Washington exploded for five goals and dominated the Florida Panthers 5-0 at home for just the third win of the season.
Washington struck first late in the opening period on a goal by Troy Brouwer.
The winger kept things after the first intermission, scoring a power-play goal just three minutes into the second period. Joel Ward, who was tied for the team lead in goals entering the contest, added his fifth of the year at 11:55 of the second frame.
The Capitals added insurance goals in the third period by Alex Ovechkin and Mathieu Perreault. Washington has to feel good that its superstar has started to show signs of life. Ovechkin now has four goals on the season and has scored in two straight games.
Florida goalie Jose Theodore, a former Capital, struggled in the contest and was chased from the crease in the third period after allowing the fifth goal of the game.
Head coach Adam Oates made a big change in the lineup that ended up paying off. He scratched Marcus Johansson and inserted Perreault into the rotation. The young forward responded by scoring his first goal of the season and also added an assist.
Braden Holtby got the start in net for the Capitals and had by far his best game of the season. Holtby blanked the Panthers, stopping all 27 shots that he faced. That performance should earn him a start in the next game. The goalie situation in D.C has been fluid all season and needs to find stability.
Washington cut back on mistakes that have plagued it all year. Florida had just two power-play opportunities. The Capitals converted one of two chances on the man advantage.
These two teams will waste no time getting back together, as they meet up on Tuesday night in South Florida.