Tuesday, January 11, 2011 11:41 pm
By Joe Benaniti
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The recipe for disaster was easy to figure out. The Caps were ineffective on the power play, while the Panthers man advantage group chipped in three goals, including the game winner in overtime.
Washington penalty killers had been extremely tough to solve for close to two weeks. They were enjoying some of their best success short-handed since 1997-98, but it unraveled tonight against the club with the worst power play unit in the league.
No fault should be place at the feet of Michal Neuvirth the young caps goalie played very well with this showdown with fellow native of the Czech Republic Tomas Vokoun. There we at least five times tonight where Neuvirth had Panthers payers cursing him for his heroics.
Florida jumped out to 3 nothing lead in this one sparked by two separate five-on-three-power play strikes. The Caps started to chip away at the deficit in the second frame when Marcus Johansson scored his first goal on the road of the season, his fourth overall. It capped a pretty 2 on one break with Brooks Laich.
Mike Knuble joined the party with a goal just over three minutes later. He took a sharp pass from Alex Ovechkin and beat Voukun on his catching glove.
Washington made it three unanswered goals when Johansson tapped in a loose puck from between the pads of Voukun just shy of the 8-minute mark in period three. The Capitals had all the momentum and were poised to take the lead a few minutes later when Johansson was alone on the doorstep. The young Swede took a centering pass but was foiled by Voukuns catching glove. His shot needed to be a half-foot higher.
Florida continued to pound away at Neuvirth but this game was destined to end in overtime. Mike Green was forced to haul down Cory Stillman in the extra session, which gave Florida to clinch it on the power play. Dennis Wideman punched one past Neuvirth to end it beating him with a wrist shot over the catching glove.
The Capitals look to make amends against Tampa on Thursday.