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Why Can’t Every Game Be Like This?
Mike Green defends. (Photo by Clyde Caplan)
A jubilant crowd cheered the Caps on to a 5-0 victory over the Florida Panthers last night at the Verizon Center. It was their sixth straight home win against the Panthers. With one quarter of this season already in the books and securing only their third win this season, the Caps know there’s still a lot of work to be done.
Troy Brouwer scored the first two goals of the night. He had the Caps only tally in the first period, and came right back with one at 3:36 in the second assisted by Braden Holtby. “We (the players) had a meeting. It was more about what we expect of each other. It was just clearing the air in the dressing room, which may have been a bit late but it worked out. Tonight was very important for us to gain momentum.”
Joel Ward added to the Caps lead in the second period. “We just had to go out and support each other and make plays. We’ve got to put the past behind us. The last game in Philadelphia was a life lesson for sure.”
“We have to turn it around,” said an intense Alex Ovechkin. “Everyone was just so focused today. This was a very important game for us.” Ovechkin scored in the third period assisted by Jason Chimera and Mike Ribeiro.
Mathieu Perreault joined in the scoring frenzy midway through the third with his first goal of the season. “It was a must win, especially against our own division. We still have a chance to get back up there. It was definitely a must win.”
With a shut out under his belt, goaltender Holtby, summed it up. “All four lines were working. There was a lot of energy. The fourth line played great, and when you see guys play like that, it’s contagious.”
Coach Adam Oates appeared satisfied, yet guarded, after the win. “There were a lot of positives. Holtby had a big save on a 2-on-1 early in the game. That gave us momentum.”
When asked about the players meeting, Oates shrugged, “I didn’t call the meeting. I don’t know who called it, but it worked. They played hard and it paid off.”
With the Caps’ first taste of success since February 1st, they will take on the Panthers again in Florida on Tuesday, February 12th looking for their fourth win this season.