2-17-12 Panthers vs Capitals, 2-1 Caps

We Love Florida Panthers Arena!   It’s really pretty down there, so you get a bit of tropical along with ice hockey.   What could be better  🙂    

Caps had been on a losing streak so we really weren’t sure what we were in for tonite and it turned out to be a very chippy game.  

Oh, and, we get to see Coach Ramsay when we’re there, that’s always a treat!   


I didn’t take that many tonite, it was a very exciting game, but I’m also generally tired after the long drive down and just want to enjoy the game, so I let it slide this game. 

Tomorrow morning, we shoot on up to Tampa for the Bolts vs Caps game.  

The Washington Capitals‘ turbulent week was on the verge of getting a lot worse. But thanks to some tenacity and a little bit of luck, they’ve finally got something to smile about.

Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin scored third-period goals Friday night as the Capitals rallied to beat the Florida Panthers 2-1 in a key Southeast Division matchup.

Vokoun made 22 saves in his return to the BankAtlantic Center, where he played his home games the last four seasons. Vokoun shut out Florida twice this season, but both games were at the Verizon Center.

This was the first time in five meetings the road team won. Michal Neuvirth was in net for the Capitals when they lost at the BankAtlantic Center on Dec. 5 (5-4) and Feb. 1 (4-2).

Tomas Fleischmann, another former Capital, scored the lone goal for the Panthers.

Semin scored the game-winner with 6:33 left with a slap shot from the top of the right circle that handcuffed Theodore after it quickly went off the stick of Sean Bergenheim.

The Capitals appeared to have tied the score in the final minute of the second period when Brooks Laich‘s shot from the top of the left circle got by Theodore, but was the goal was immediately waved off. Knuble, playing after being a healthy scratch the previous three games, was called for goalie interference after making contact with Theodore in the blue paint.

Washington came close to breaking a scoreless tie on a power play late in the first period when Dmitry Orlov‘s wrist shot from the high slot beat Theodore but hit the crossbar and stayed out.

Fleischmann scored with 39.8 seconds left in the first period after a nice setup from Stephen Weiss. Weiss skated the puck behind the Washington net before slipping a backhand pass to Fleischmann through the legs of Ovechkin. Fleischmann one-timed the pass from inside the left circle and beat Vokoun to the stick side.

The goal extended Fleischmann’s points streak to five games, during which he has two goals and four assists.

In his first start against his former team, Florida goalie Jose Theodore finished with 39 saves. Theodore spent two seasons with Washington before moving to Minnesota in 2010-11 and then joining the Panthers last summer; he had yet to face his former team.

Jose Theodore, who this night I got my jersey named for!   YAY.  I’m happy because I also really like Theodore.  

OVIE!   I do Love Ovie.    

There were a couple of blond girls over at the glass that were working REALLY hard to get Alex’s attention 

Game Time and Vokoun is already fighting off Panthers

Intermission and Stanley Panther is helping out the baby goalie

Little Baby Goalie not getting any shots to block

Next period, and Vokoun is showing how limber he is. Or, he’s praying, not sure which 

Theodore, who got the start after Scott Clemmensen was pulled from Wednesday’s 6-2 loss against Ottawa, made several spectacular saves in the first two periods. Among them were a stick save on a Jeff Halpern shot from a sharp angle and a kick save on Halpern’s one-timer from the right faceoff dot

We had the new Miami Marlin in the house tonite 

Alex was not thrilled with a call and talked it over with the ref 

Gordie Howe was in attendance tonite!!!  

Hi Gordie   

Florida carried a 1-0 lead into the third period until Ovechkin scored a power-play goal at 4:47. With Mikael Samuelsson in the box for slashing, Ovechkin scored from a sharp angle after grabbing a loose puck.

The goal occurred with Florida defenseman Mike Weaver injured on the ice after he was hit in the face by the stick of Mike Knuble after going down to make a play. Weaver stayed down for several seconds after the play and had to leave the ice, although he returned a few minutes later.

It was one of four power plays for Washington in the third period; Florida had none.

The game finished with one linesman after Andy McElman sustained a broken nose when he was hit by a puck in the third period. McElman was injured when Erik Gudbranson attempted to shoot the puck down the ice while Florida was killing a penalty. He was knocked to the ice, but immediately got up and leaned over the Washington bench, kicking the boards in pain. He didn’t return to the game.

Had to be helped out and game stopped til they got another linesman up to finish the game 

Ouch

Always so good to see Ramsay!   

Stanley jumping around on the seats

Jose taking a moment to stretch

More meet and greets! 

This kind of thing had gone on all evening, a lot of it against Versteeg

Things got ugly at the end.  We were really surprised at how the Caps played tonite, a very dirty style and Versteeg had had enough and lost his mind!   

It was the first time this season the Panthers lost in regulation when leading after two periods; they had been 16-0-4 when taking a lead into the third period.  But the Panthers couldn’t get anything else past Vokoun, who has stopped 84 of 85 shots against his former team this season.

Caps celebrating

It was the first time this season the Panthers lost in regulation when leading after two periods; they had been 16-0-4 when taking a lead into the third period.

After the final whistle, they threw rats on the ice and the Caps players came back out and shot them into the nets.  It got really ugly!  

Capitals were riding a three-game losing streak and in danger of falling six points behind Florida in the Southeast Division standings. Making the game even more important was the fact it began a stretch of five games in nine days that includes two back-to-backs.

The victory in front of 17,779 at the BankAtlantic Center cut Florida’s lead to two points. Both teams have 25 games remaining, including a rematch April 5 at Washington.

GAME HIGHLIGHTS: http://nhl.cdn.neulion.net/u/videocenter/embed.swf

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