WASHINGTON (AP) — T.J. Oshie scored twice, including the game-winner during a third-period flurry, as the Washington Capitals beat the Florida Panthers 4-2 Saturday night for their fifth consecutive victory.
Oshie, Alex Ovechkin and Lars Eller scored three goals on five shots in less than five minutes as the Capitals finally cracked Roberto Luongo. Florida’s goaltender had flummoxed Washington for much of the game and finished with 32 saves.
Jared McCann and Reilly Smith scored for Florida, which was opportunistic despite being outshot 36-24. McCann’s goal was his first with the Panthers after an offseason trade from Vancouver.
Capitals starter Braden Holtby made 22 saves for his sixth win of the season. Ovechkin’s goal was his seventh of the season, and he added an assist on Oshie’s second-period goal.
Luongo was stellar for the first two-plus periods after the Panthers gave him a lead with McCann’s first goal of the season 5:17 in. When his teammates paraded to the penalty box, the 37-year-old was up to the task, turning away point shots, rebounds and one-timers from every angle.
Oshie’s first goal of the night came on a 2-on-1 with Ovechkin that Luongo had no chance of stopping. After Smith beat Holtby on the power play in the third, it looked like Luongo was sharp enough to make the 2-1 advantage stand up.
Instead, Ovechkin scored an un-Ovechkin-like goal with a deflection of a shot by defenseman Brooks Orpik, and Oshie drove to the net and went top shelf. By the time Eller scored, the Capitals had put up three goals in 4:45 to take control of the game.
NOTES: Panthers F Jaromir Jagr suffered a lower-body injury in the first period and did not return. … Capitals 1990 playoff hero John Druce dropped the puck for a ceremonial faceoff on Hockey Fights Cancer night. Druce’s daughter Courtney died from cancer over the summer after being diagnosed with the disease five times since 2014.
Panthers: Return home from their one-game road trip to face their in-state-rivals, the Tampa Bay Lightning, on Monday night.
Capitals: Host the defending Western Conference-champion San Jose Sharks on election night in the nation’s capital Tuesday.
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