It took holding NHL goals leader Alex Ovechkin scoreless — including a shootout miss.
And it took a 36-year-old career backup goalie who hadn't won a game
The Panthers won their second game in a row — both in shootouts — Friday by defeating the Capitals 3-2. It was the Panthers' first win
over the Capitals since Feb. 1, 2012, going 0-6-2 during that span.
Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen, who is now 1-2-1 this season,
stopped seven Capitals in the shootout.
"Shootouts are not my forte," he said. "But as it went on, is
started to get more fun. It gets easier on goalies as it goes on
because teams get on down their (roster of shooters)."
Clemmensen said he was aware of Ovechkin, who has 26 goals this
season, every time he was on the ice.
"But it didn't matter even if he had scored their two goals, as long
as we won," Clemmensen said. "It's December whatever, and this was
my first win, so it's been a long road."
The winning goal in the shootout was scored by right winger Tomas
Kopecky, who put a wrist shot just under the crossbar in the 10th
round of the shootout.
Center Jonathan Huberdeau, right winger Brad Boyes and center Nick
Bjugstad also scored shootout goals for Florida.
Right winger Eric Fehr, center Nicklas Backstrom and center Mikhail
Grabovski scored shootout goals for Washington.
Capitals goalie Phillip Grubauer, a 22-year-old rookie from Germany
who entered the game with a 1.36 goals-against-average, made 39
saves but took his first career loss and is now 2-1.
Clemmensen got off to a rocky start, giving up an apparent goal by
defenseman Mike Green 41 seconds into the game, although it was
waved off due to goaltender interference on right winger Martin
Capitals coach Adam Oates said he argued the interference call at
"It was interference — it was when we watched it on replay," he
said. "Out there, I didn't think it was. It was just two inches.
That was kind of our game tonight."
With 10:41 left in the first period, Florida got a hard-earned
four-minute power play when Capitals defenseman John Carlson
high-sticked Kopecky in the face. But the Panthers couldn't convert.
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Florida broke through with 2:13 elapsed in the second period
as rookie defenseman Dylan Olsen scored from the wing, beating
Grubauer with a high wrist shot for his third goal of the
"I just picked that one off the wall and started going to the
net," Olsen said. "When no one came out to me, I saw a little
opening up top and put it on net."
With 3:26 left in the second period, Washington tied the score
at 1 when Backstrom beat Clemmensen high to the glove side for
his eighth goal of the season.
Center Aleksander Barkov put the Panthers up 2-1 with 2:04 left
in the second period. Barkov intercepted a pass by Green, split
two defensemen and fired a wrist shot that beat Grubauer
The Capitals tied the score at 2 on a power-play goal by right
winger Joel Ward, who survived a scramble out in front and
barely shoved the puck over the line. It was Ward's 10th goal of
the season, and it survived a video review.
Florida, next-to-last in the Atlantic Division with 27 points,
is set to begin a four-game road trip in Montreal on Sunday. The
Capitals, who are second in the Metropolitan Division with 37
points, return home for a Sunday afternoon game against
Oates said he was pleased with Grubauer, who gave starter Braden
Holtby a rest.
"We just didn't get enough chances," Oates said. "That's the
worst we've played in our end in a long time."
NOTES: Capitals G Michal Neuvirth (lower body) was sent to the
AHL for the weekend on a conditioning assignment as he prepares
to return to the lineup. ... G Tim Thomas, who started 15 of the
Panthers' past 16 games, injured his groin in practice Thursday
and is out indefinitely. Entering Friday, he had nine of the
Panthers' 10 wins. ... With Thomas out, the Panthers called up G
Jacob Markstrom from the AHL. ... Capitals LW Brooks Laich
(groin), D John Erskine (knee) and D Jack Hillen (leg) are out.
... Erskine is practicing and close to returning, and Laich is
working on the ice but not yet practicing. ... Capitals LW Alex
Ovechkin entered Friday with 48 goals in his past 50 games. ...
Capitals C Nicklas Backstrom leads the NHL with four games with
three or more assists this season. ... The Panthers have
improved under new coach Peter Horachek. They were 3-9-4 this
season under the since-fired Kevin Dineen. In the same amount of
games (16) under Horachek, entering Friday, the Panthers were
7-8-1. ... Former Panthers G John Vanbiesbrouck was honored
Friday with a bobblehead-doll give-away.
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