Washington Capitals Enjoy Stifiling Shutout over Road-Weary Florida Panthers

Paddy MillerContributor IIIOctober 19, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC - OCTOBER 18:  Marcus Johansson #90 of the Washington Capitals celebrates with teammates after scoring in the first period against the Florida Panthers at the Verizon Center on October 18, 2011 in Washington, DC.  (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
Greg Fiume/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals added to their undefeated start Wednesday night with a 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers at Verizon Center.

The win came in dominating fashion which saw the Caps out-shoot the Panthers 31-20, while enjoying much of the puck possession in the Florida end of the rink.

It would be a complete 60-minute game which saw away-team chances come on a limited basis and of very little quality. When there were chances, Tomas Vokoun was there, and he earned his first shutout of the season against his former team.

Marcus Johansson would open up the scoring four minutes into the game on the power play. It would be the third goal of the season for the second-year center who has impressed since being benched in the season opener by head coach Bruce Boudreau.

It has been the standard in previous outings that when the Caps start out hot and do eventually cash in, a period of stale play would occur. No such thing would occur last evening and Panthers goalie Jacob Markstrom would make several key saves to keep the Panthers in the game.

Florida would show the letdown of a team that came off a big night in a 7-4 road win at Tampa Bay.  They also showed the energy of a team that was playing its second game in as many nights, including a long trip up the east coast. However, they would fail to find their legs at any point in the contest, as the Caps continued to assault the rookie goaltender.

Florida’s best chance would come late in the second period after Markstrom turned away a superb Jason Chimera opportunity, and the Panthers' Jason Booth sprung on a breakaway. The scoring forward would unleash a slap shot from 20 feet that Vokoun would turn away. From then on, the game was on the stick of the Capitals.

Early in the third Alex Semin would streak down the wing and unleash a wrist-shot that the talented Swedish netminder could not reach. An important goal, the Caps would not look back.

Jason Chimera would add extra insurance late in regulation and the Caps would celebrate with Vokoun after the Panthers went silent.

It was a remarkable performance for a team that has struggled to put teams away in regulation to this point. The Capitals held possession for the majority of the 60 minutes and imposed themselves while generating offensive chances in a variety of ways.

The Caps will now look forward to a game on Thursday night in Philadelphia. The Flyers are unbeaten with four wins (one in extra session). Both teams will be looking to give their opponent their first loss of the season Thursday evening.

If the Capitals can come out with the same resolve and instinct to finish their opponent, they will give the Flyers a bit of trouble in the next contest on Broad Street.