Reclaiming the Southeast: Caps 3, Panthers 2 OT (3/6/11)

The Washington Capitals pushed their win streak to 4 as they relied on an Alex Semin howitzer 48 seconds into overtime to push past the hosting Florida Panthers. Bill Thomas put the Panthers on the board first, capitalizing on a Dennis Wideman turnover, only to be countered by a Nicklas Backstrom tally not two minutes later off an Alex Ovechkin feed. Boyd Gordon was able to put the Caps ahead 2-1 halfway through the second by backhanding a John Carlson rebound past Scott Clemmensen. Michal Neuvirth was able to hold down the fort for DC until two back-to-back penalties put the Caps on a 5-on-3 PK, affording David Booth the opportunity to tie up the contest and push the game to overtime. In extra innings, #28 was able to spoil the Panthers’ Purim party on an excellent feed from Marcus Johansson, allowing the Capitals to take 2 points in Sunrise – and sole possession of the Southeast Division over Monday’s opponent, the Tampa Bay Lightning. 

Read more about the SE leading Capitals – after the jump.



The Good:

- After not notching a shot on goal all game, Alex Semin’s blast was reminiscent of day’s old.  Hopefully, his 2nd GWG in 4 games means he’s fully healthy, motivated with a new pivot (finally), and ready to go for the rest of the season.

- In related Alex news, after a season filled with ups and downs the Great 8 finally seems “great” again. In the 9 games since Valentines Day, he’s notched two 4-game point streaks, including 4 goals and 8 assists.

- Don’t look now, but Nicky B has two goals in as many games. Broken thumb be dammed. 

- Is Neuvirth the goalie for the playoffs? His fifth win in his last six starts and his fourth in a row sure makes it seem that way.

The Bad:

- Yet another game with only 1 PP opportunity. It’s hard to get on track with the man advantage if you never get to use it.

- After looking rock solid the first series of games, the second liners looked strangely off tonight. Leaving something packed away for your trip to St. Pete Times, mayhaps?

- Tyler Sloan.

- Although he was credited with an assist on the night, Matt Hendricks‘ “fight” finds its way here. Woof.



The Ugly:

- Two late third period penalties pushed the game past 60 minutes. While John Erskine‘s tripping penalty was unfortunate (and questionable), Wideman’s slash while on the PK allowed the Cats to climb back into the game and force it to sudden death. Personally, I don’t like to tempt fate against a team that out shot you 34-24 to that point.