Caps unleash fury, dominate Cats 4-0
When the Washington Capitals unleash the fury magical things happen...13 seconds into the game.
That magic 13 seconds into the battle for first in the Southeast division on Tuesday night was Matthieu Perreault's fifth goal in his past six games and ninth of the season to help the host Caps blitzkrieg the Florida Panthers early on.
Alex Ovechkin made his presence felt all night, notching his first multi-goal effort for the since December 31st. Ovie's first tally was a beauty off the rush and from the left circle where he makes his money, he slipped a wrist shot through the legs of Scott Clemmensen for his 21st goal of the season. His second tally came at 11:47 of the second period when he stole a puck in the offensive zone and uncorked a twister wrister over the blocker of Clemmensen, it was his 22nd on the year.
Jason Chimera had a big night for the Caps, notching his 15th of the season to put the Caps up 3-0 in the second, and added an assist with eight shots on goal and was a +2.
Tomas Vokoun recorded his second shutout in his past three games by turning aside all 42 Florida shots. The effort against his former team gave the Caps the lead in the division and gave Vokoun his 22nd win of the season, he had 22 all of last season for the Panthers.
While Dale Hunter's Caps were badly outshot (42-24), the Caps outhit the Panthers 31-19 and blocked 17 shots to Florida's six. Washington also capitalized on it's only powerplay on the first Ovechkin tally and won 32 faceoffs to Florida's 25.
Much maligned defenseman Roman Hamrlik led the Caps in ice-time with 22:26 while Troy Brouwer played more than five minutes of short-handed time on ice and more than 22 minutes overall.
Going into the game, coach Dale Hunter called it a "playoff game," and his guys responded with one of their most complete games of the season in all aspects of the game: offense, defense, goaltending and special teams.
More efforts like that will get Ovie and his boys to the playoffs and not looking over their shoulder at those pesky Florida Panthers.