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NHL Game Summary - Florida at Washington



(Friday, January 29th)

Final Score: Washington 4, Florida 1

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Mike Knuble scored twice and added an assist, as the Washington Capitals took their ninth straight win, a 4-1 decision over the Florida Panthers at Verizon Center.

The current streak, which began with a shootout win over the Panthers on January 13, is one shy of matching the franchise record set from January 27- February 18, 1984.

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and two helpers for the Capitals, while Michal Neuvirth made 35 saves. Washington defenseman Mike Green had an assist, but left the game in the second period with an apparent knee injury and was held out for the final frame.

"It was more a charley horse than anything else," Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau said. "It was like knee-on-knee, but it was high...I'm just really happy to see that it's not going to be long-term."

Tomas Vokoun gave up all four goals on 40 shots for the Panthers, who had won their last two. Vokoun had been hot lately, allowing one or no goals in his last five starts and only seven total in his last seven starts. The last time Vokoun gave up more than three goals was the last time he faced Washington, on January 13.

Stephen Weiss had Florida's lone tally.

"Against a team like that, unless you bring your a-plus game they're going to make you look bad," Panthers head coach Peter DeBoer said. "And that's what happened."

Knuble's night got started early in the first period, as he attempted to stuff a backhander past Vokoun with the Caps on the power play. Vokoun denied the shot but couldn't control the rebound, which Backstrom chipped in at 7:26.

Weiss evened the game 4:22 into the second, as his one-timer from the inside edge of the right circle, off a cross-ice pass from Cory Stillman, beat Neuvirth.

But the Capitals responded almost immediately. Vokoun dropped the puck after saving a shot by Backstrom, and Alex Ovechkin flew in to deposit the rebound. The puck caromed off Knuble's skate before going in at 4:47 to make it a 2-1 game.

Later in the period Green left the game after colliding with Panthers defenseman Dmitry Kulikov. The hit wasn't completely square, and Green's right knee hit Kulikov's leg before going down, grabbing at the knee. He lay on the ice in pain for a few minutes before being helped off, and didn't put any pressure on the leg.

Despite the loss of Green, Washington pulled away in the third. Jeff Schultz's point blast got past a screened Vokoun at 4:46, and just under three minutes later, Knuble's wrister from the right circle got through Vokoun's pads to make it a three-goal contest.

Game Notes

Florida went 0-for-5 on the power play, while Washington was 1-for-3...The Capitals are 5-0-0 against the Panthers this season...Knuble has 11 goals and three assists over his last 12 games, while Backstrom has seven goals and eight assists over his last 12.

01/29 23:45:50 ET


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