Caps host Panthers trying to extend recent surge
(Sports Network) - The improving Washington Capitals will take aim at a third straight victory when they host the Florida Panthers in Thursday's Southeast Division battle at Verizon Center.
With recent wins over Winnipeg and Boston, the Capitals have compiled a 7-3-0 record over their last 10 games. Despite its recent success, Washington is still tied with Florida for last place in the Eastern Conference and the Capitals have a 2-8-1 start to the season to thank for their current standing in the conference.
Washington is 2-0 this season against the Panthers, posting a 5-0 win in a home meeting on Feb. 9 before winning 6-5 in overtime three days later in Sunrise. The Capitals have won five straight in this series overall and Florida has dropped six in a row and nine of 10 in D.C.
The Capitals played Tuesday against visiting Boston and overcame a three-goal first-period deficit to down the Bruins, 4-3, in overtime. Eric Fehr scored the game-winner at 37 seconds of the extra session.
Fehr was skating over the Boston blue line when Nicklas Backstrom laid a lead pass one stride ahead. The veteran grinder accepted the feed, skated between a pair of Bruins defenders and scored with a rising shot to the far post.
"We didn't give up at all today. We know how important it is to string some wins together. To come back against a team that good means a lot, and hopefully we can keep going," said Fehr. "I think it says a lot about our character. This team believes in ourselves. We're a pretty confident bunch right now and we believe in the system."
Mike Ribeiro and Tomas Kundratek tallied in the second period and Wojtek Wolski notched the tying score late in regulation for the Capitals. Braden Holtby hung in and earned the win with a 30-save effort.
The win improved Washington's home record this season to 6-5-0.
Meanwhile, Florida was able to halt a three-game slide on Tuesday with a 4-1 home win over the Winnipeg Jets.
Jacob Markstrom made 20 saves to notch his first win of the season in Tuesday's triumph.
"That was good for him to get the win," Panthers head coach Kevin Dineen said of Markstrom. "He was the difference maker."
With Jose Theodore on injured reserve with a groin issue, Markstrom could get the start over Scott Clemmensen again on Thursday.
Tomas Kopecky, Shawn Matthias, Jonathan Huberdeau and Mike Santorelli each scored once to help the Panthers earn Tuesday's win.
03/07 11:09:54 ET