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Capitals 3, Panthers 0

Caps forward Brooks Laich scored a short-handed goal 5:46 into the second period, Viktor Kozlov tallied in the third thanks to a nice setup by Michael Nylander and Washington's defense did the rest in a 3-0 victory over the Florida Panthers at BankAtlantic Center.

Mike Green added an empty-net goal with less than two minutes to go on an assist from Alexander Semin and Alex Ovechkin, who collected his 400th point but is still one score away from his third 50-goal season.

In other news, New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur earned win No. 552 tonight against the Chicago Blackhawks, 3-2, passing Patrick Roy for most career victories in NHL history.

Tarik will be back later with postgame notes and quotes. In the meantime, tell us what you think:

By Lindsay Applebaum  |  March 17, 2009; 9:53 PM ET
 
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Comments

Pretty good game, but FLA was just horrible.

We made a bunch of other East teams happy.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 17, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Man, I love a good shortie.

Posted by: uncatim | March 17, 2009 9:57 PM | Report abuse

Very worried! ;/

Posted by: rachel216 | March 17, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm gonna see how good my luck is

CAPS WIN BIG BABY AGAINST THE BOLTS ON THURSDAY

there my prediction is in the books

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 17, 2009 9:59 PM | Report abuse

Been a while since the Caps got a shutout! Sucks to be a Panthers fan, Imagine if the Caps were getting shutout after two, and didn't even get a shot on goal in the third.

Posted by: goskins1982 | March 17, 2009 10:00 PM | Report abuse

Rachel -- agreed; other concern -- few Caps willing to take punishment in the crease for dirty goals

Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 17, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Tarik,
Wasn't assist from Ovechkin AND Semin?

Posted by: fnralch | March 17, 2009 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Wow, isn't it amazing? NJ is 4 points within Boston and we are 5 points within. It's still doable but like I said, I would like to play the Canadiens and let Philly and Pit kill each other. Just curious, who would you guys root for? Pit or Philly if everyone stays where they are at this point.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 17, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Yay Caps, yay Brooksy, Yay Ovie, Yay Greeners, Yay Theo and Yay Erskine!!! GREAT JOB everyone

major congrats to Marty Brodeur. amazing

Posted by: capsfan387 | March 17, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Should'nt that say "Held Florida without a shot the entire third period..."?

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 17, 2009 10:02 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, question was to Lindsay not Tarik.

Posted by: fnralch | March 17, 2009 10:04 PM | Report abuse

Whoever voted "don't consider it a problem" is crazy! It should have 0%!

Posted by: rachel216 | March 17, 2009 10:05 PM | Report abuse

I was at the game when Steve Mason shutout the Caps and that did suck.

Posted by: ejohnsto | March 17, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

Great game! I'd say, leave tonight's lines together for most situations. Kozlov seems to be productive with Laich and Nylander for some reason. (Witness, tonight's game and the Detroit game.)

While the F Bombers didn't score, they looked good and Fed had several shots on goal. (He's a great mentor.) I like that grouping.

It seems that putting the OBS line together allows up to have those other two combinations for the 2nd and 3rd lines.

Of course, we need everyone healthy to have 3 scoring lines. Feds being out for the better part of the week meant the 2nd line was toast. And when Kozzie was out for so long, it was obvious that something was missing in our offense.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 17, 2009 10:08 PM | Report abuse

Take that, all those people who complain that Ovi is a selfish player. He could have driven the puck to the empty net for his 50th but passed to Semin and then to Green for the score.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | March 17, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, great look by Erskie...

Brodeur does deserve it. He's earned it.

Posted by: BernieWolfeFan | March 17, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

@fnralch, @ludeman95: Yes, and thanks! I was in a bit of a rush!

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | March 17, 2009 10:13 PM | Report abuse

@L.A.

No prob, thank you guys and girls for your work to make the blog more interactive for us!

Posted by: ludeman95 | March 17, 2009 10:16 PM | Report abuse

I think I'd almost rather see Ovechkin-Backstrom-Fehr (big body in front of the net) and Semin-Fedorov-Fleischmann as the top two lines. If BB needs to, he can switch Fehr-Semin and juice up the top line, but otherwise, it puts major scoring threats on two lines. As was noted, for whatever reason, Kozlov and Nylander seem to work together and Laich is a good spark on that third line.

But heck, I'm just a fan, not the coach or GM, but great game tonight. Very complete (for once).

Posted by: MikeF703 | March 17, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Have won three of the last four and I'm happy. Well done.

Congratulations to Martin Brodeur, simply amazing. They pointed out tonight that Vokoun became the 53rd goalies to start 500 games - that's one of the big marks for netminders. Started 500, and Martin has won 552.

Also, congrats to JT on the shutout.

On to Tampa.

Posted by: saintex | March 17, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

oh, wrong. Four of the last five...that sounds even better.

Posted by: saintex | March 17, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

The caps would never not have a shot in a period after being down by 2 goals...not legit...OUR TEAM IS SIC...I hope we have some luck on our side in the playoffs...
Round 1: We beat Montreal or New York (if we wanna win the cup we need to win in at least 5 games)
Round 2: We beat the Devils *the only threat in the east that I see*(probably in 7 games, it would be better to be in 2nd place right now for home advantage)
Round 3: We defeat the Penguins or Bruins in 5 or 6 games then head off to Detroit for the Stanley Cup finals!!
The most important thing is, we need to switch our playing style around as to confuse good teams...and we need to always play as if the season is on the line.
GO CAPS!!!

Posted by: masterx09 | March 17, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

Now that everyone's in a good mood, I think it might be safe to mention that we have one of those fancy, newfangled Facebook pages if you're into that kind of thing: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Post-Capitals-Central/142287595098

Posted by: Lindsay Applebaum | March 17, 2009 10:41 PM | Report abuse

icing on the cake; philly lost.

Posted by: richmondphil | March 17, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

that wasn't the game I expected. I suppose we should expect the unexpected. Or expect skizophrenia. embrace chaos. I dunno. Maybe Pothoers return has the blueliners on their toes. Fedorov made a difference. If only his finish was there. It looks like he's trying to get on a roll...


Posted by: oo7 | March 17, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that Boston will be able to hold back the Devils. I believe NJ ends up at the top with us fighting with the Bruins for #2. I think that is doable, but the team must have the attitude of not playing for that position. Just play the game you want to play and the wins will come. You win enough and you move up.

Posted by: CTCapsPhan | March 17, 2009 11:02 PM | Report abuse

OK, I'm gonna see how good my luck is

CAPS WIN BIG BABY AGAINST THE BOLTS ON THURSDAY

there my prediction is in the books


Posted by: JIMALLCAPS | March 17, 2009 9:59 PM

I'm off to Vegas tomorrow morning for March Madness and going to bet $1000 on this game so you better be right!

Posted by: GAU8A | March 17, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I would much rather be ahead of NJ. No disespect to Boston but Brodier is starting to worry me. He's almost better. It's a bionic arm or something. If the caps go up against Jersey, is it better they they "get away" again? I dunno. I do know that Brodeur worries me. Otherwise, maybe it's better if Pitt and Philly face their own opponents. Better chance of meeting neither on a roll in the 2nd round. There are some dangerous teams in the east this year.

Posted by: oo7 | March 17, 2009 11:15 PM | Report abuse

I hate this auto edit, damn iPhone, brodier, WTF? that doesn't need to be capitalized, either.

Posted by: oo7 | March 17, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Wow, very solid game. Florida was terrible but when you don't allow a shot on goal for an entire period against any NHL team it's good collective effort(especially when it's the 3rd period and they're trailing by 2 and 3). I was so pulling for it in the last few minutes of the game. We blocked a lot of shots tonight. Very good effort and OV has plenty of time to get his 50th and potentially 60th of the game.

GAU8A
I'll miss ya in Vegas. I usually go there ever yr for the opening rounds but this will be the 1st yr I'll miss in a while. Good luck to ya buddy. And yeah, probably would be a bad idea to throw a "healthy" load on the Caps Thursday night! LOL!

Posted by: pokerface1208 | March 17, 2009 11:29 PM | Report abuse

Just made the hour and a half trek home to Ft. Myers, FL from BankAtlantic Center after watching a workmanlike 3-0 victory over the Panthers.

I sat right next to the runway and the shots I got of the players waiting to come out to the ice - WOW. Great game.

TO ANY THEO DOUBTERS - Shut up. Seriously. He kept everything out of the net and he's playing strong when he has the support of his team - which tonight proved to be a perfect example and he has made some crazy saves in the past.

This effort was fantastic. This was payback - FLA came in and put up six in DC and the Caps came down here and blanked them. Ohhhhh how sweet this was to watch tonight. A great job by Brooksie and Kozlov let that shot go right when Vokoun became screened - see what happens when you get traffic in front of the net????? A great effort having played the night before. That was an ugly and disappointing effort for Florida.

In conclusion: Theodore shut the door.

On to Tampa. Ice Breakers Goal Shakers.

Posted by: Jonathan6 | March 18, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

The Caps won tonight. Good!

Posted by: Puckguru | March 18, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Pittsburgh or Philadelphia? Personally, I think the Caps match up better with Pittsburgh. However, what I would really root for is a brutally physical seven game series with multiple overtime games so that whomever survives has nothing left in the tank for the next opponent.

Posted by: croftonpost | March 18, 2009 6:53 AM | Report abuse

Panthers had a weak game but its never easy to blank your opponent and Caps did that to division rivals.
Caps brought with them some "SECONDARY SCORING" and hope it will continue in Tampa and Carolina.

Posted by: Hazz | March 18, 2009 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Congrats to Martin Brodeur. I'm a fan of his(not the Devils just Marty) from when I lived in NYC, even though I wished at times he was the Caps goalie from 2002 when I became a Caps fan.

Posted by: bajgirl | March 18, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

who would you guys root for? Pit or Philly if everyone stays where they are at this point.

Posted by: rachel216 | March 17, 2009 10:02 PM

I'd root for whatever arena to swallow both teams up and stay missing until the Stanley Cup finals are over and done with. If that doesn't occur and my irrational fear of all birds kicks in, I'd probably root for the Flyers. Mildly, mind you, in a very disinterested sort of way.

GOOO, Caps!

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 18, 2009 12:12 PM | Report abuse

No chance to advance past the 2nd round with this D group.

Posted by: Rompy | March 18, 2009 1:12 PM | Report abuse

*bops Rompy over the head with a foam bat* Wrong answer. *snicker*

Posted by: LeftCoastCapsFan | March 18, 2009 3:14 PM | Report abuse

pompy u suck

Posted by: masterx09 | March 18, 2009 4:54 PM | Report abuse

Hey Rachel216-I think we need to look behind us for another week or two and THEN start looking up/over at Boston and NJ. We should learn from Carolina last season...secure the #3 first. Bruce would agree.

Posted by: cuspidoor | March 19, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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