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Caps down Panthers in SO
Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Mikhail Grabovski, Brooks Laich and Nicklas Backstrom scored shootout goals to lead the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers on Saturday.
The Capitals led 2-1 late in regulation, but Florida capitalized on a 4-on-3 power-play when Tomas Fleischmann beat Michal Neuvirth to force overtime.
Neuvirth stopped 31-of-33 shots he faced in the victory and made a difficult glove save in the shootout on Jonathan Huberdeau, allowing Backstrom to wrist the game-winner past Scott Clemmensen.
"Tonight was an ugly one," said Backstrom. "Neuvy (Neuvirth) played great and kept us in the game."
Backstrom and John Carlson scored in regulation for the Caps, who were coming off a 7-0 rout of the Flyers on Friday.
Jesse Winchester scored Florida's first goal, while Clemmensen made 21 saves in defeat.
"I'm still confident in our guys," said Florida coach Kevin Dineen.
Mike Green and Tomas Kopecky were whistled for duel roughing penalties 15:27 into the third period. A Steve Olesky flashing penalty moments later gave Florida a 4-on-3 advantage, and they made the most of it.
Huberdeau gained control of the puck behind the net and quickly slid a pass to a wide-open Fleischmann, who took advantage of Neuvirth looking for the puck and slapped it home.
"Too many penalties," said Capitals coach Adam Oates. "They scored a big goal for themselves there at the end and broke our streak. It's too bad because we had been on a nice run."
Winchester and Carlson scored 36 seconds apart in the second period. Winchester's goal, a wrister from Scottie Upshall, tied the game at 1-1 but Carlson helped the Caps regain the lead with his first of the season.
Backstrom opened the scoring just 3:19 into the contest when he came up with a loose puck on a Washington transition opportunity and beat Clemmensen.
Alex Ovechkin was held out of the Caps' lineup for the second straight game after leaving Monday's clash with Vancouver with an upper-body injury ... Carlson's goal was the 100th point of his NHL career ... Washington has now won eight in a row over the Panthers.
11/02 23:10:57 ET
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