NHL Game Summary - Florida at Washington
(Saturday, February 21st)
Final Score: Florida 2, Washington 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Robert Lang had a goal and an assist as the Washington Capitals rallied from two goals down to earn a 2-2 tie with the Florida Panthers at the MCI Center. Lang, the NHL's leading scorer, now has a point in each of his last 11 games, recording five goals and eight assists during that span.
Sergei Gonchar scored the other Washington goal in this contest and Olaf Kolzig stopped 22 shots, as the Capitals remained unbeaten in their last four games (2-0-2).
"I though that for a while we've been doing some good things. I felt it was a team effort tonight and that what's we're looking for," Capitals head coach Glen Hanlon said of his team's effort.
Kristian Huselius and Mike Van Ryn scored for the Panthers, who finished off their five-game road trip with a 1-2-2 mark. Roberto Luongo continued his solid play of late with 23 saves in net for Florida. Luongo has now allowed just three goals on 101 shots in his last three games.
After a scoreless first period, Florida scored the game's first goal just 1:45 into the second. Byron Ritchie had the puck in the corner and fed Van Ryn in the slot. Van Ryn had his back to the goal, but turned and fired a low, hard shot into the lower right-hand corner of the net for a 1-0 lead.
Just minutes later the Panthers doubled their advantage after a great individual effort from Huselius. He had the puck behind the cage, banked the puck off the rear of the net and proceeded to skate around the defender. Huselius worked his way in front and slid a backhander past Kolzig at the 5:22 mark of the middle period for his ninth goal of the season.
It looked like the Capitals would head into the final period down two goals, but Lang got his team on the board with just 29 seconds remaining in the second. His 28th goal of the season allowed Washington to pull within 2-1 heading into the third period.
Lang's goal allowed a fluke play at 7:10 of the third to tie the contest. Gonchar wound up for a slap shot from the point, but his blast was partially blocked. The puck still fluttered towards the net and found its way over Luongo's shoulder, evening the score at 2-2.
Washington failed to take advantage of a power play late in the third period and missed over the crossbar on its only serious chance in overtime. In fact, the two teams combined for just one shot on goal in the extra session, with Florida recording the only chance.
"I think we really controlled most of the first forty minutes - but they kept coming hard," said Panthers head coach John Torchetti.
The Capitals recorded just 11 shots on goal in the first two periods...Kolzig is now unbeaten in his last five starts (2-0-3)...Huselius has a point in each of his last five games (2g, 3a)...Neither team fared well on the power play, with Washington going scoreless on six chances and Florida scoreless on its three opportunities.
02/22 00:15:09 ET