Panthers Hang On, But Show They're For Real.

A quick start in the first period with goals 13 seconds apart by Stephen Weiss (his 10th) and Mike Santorelli and the Florida Panthers felt as though they were on their way.  A Dmitry Kulikov bullet from just inside the blue line and the Cats were quickly up 3-0 before the Washington Capitals never knew what hit them.  Until later.  It was a three point night for Kulikov who had a goal and two assists in over 24 minutes of ice time for the young defenceman.

In what was probably a statement game the Florida Panthers needed to win this game badly, and Washington knew it.  It seemed as though the Capitals didn’t have enough push back, as the Panthers built a 5-2 lead into the third period.  However two more Washington goals in the third made it 5-4 and the Panthers hung on for the eventual win, extending their lead over the Capitals to seven points in the Southeast division.

Stephen Weiss had two goals and one assist giving him three points on the night as well.  The Flashmob line combined for four points on the night as Tomas Fleischmann added an assist.  Brian Campbell also had a three point night with three helpers, and led the team in ice time with just over 25 minutes.

It’s a win we’ll take.  As we hung on to beat a division rival in a game we had to have.

Dave will have a full recap in the morning.  But for tonight, the view from the top is still a good one.

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Tags: Alex Ovechkin Dmitry Kulikov Florida Panthers Nicklas Backstrom Stephen Weiss Washington Capitals

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