The Capitals beat the Panthers 3-0 and are the first ever Capitals team to start a season 5-0-0. It was also the first shutout for Tomas Vokoun as a Capital and it just happened to be against his former team, the Florida Panthers. Vokoun stopped 20 in the victory and is 4-0-0 on the season.
The Caps were playing a very tired Panthers team, one who played in Tampa Bay last night and got in around 3 am this morning, and to put them at an even bigger disadvantage, they were starting Jacob Markstrom who was starting his first ever NHL game and Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said afterwards they needed to take advantage of it,
“They were tired. Two very emotional games against their cross-town rival [Tampa Bay] and then had to fly here so we thought this was the perfect advantage for us. You know in the scheduling, I’m sure it’s probably going to reverse itself somewhere down the road but we got a break and if we don’t take advantage of the breaks then shame on us.”
Well it wasn’t shame on them because the Caps took full advantage of it, as Marcus Johansson got the scoring going 4:24 into the first, when he beat Markstrom on the power play five hole from the corner and made it an early 1-0 Caps and Boudreau enjoyed seeing it,
“It’s a great way to get one and he hasn’t gotten too many on the power play from that spot. But if we can get power play on a continual basis, chipping in a goal or if we ever get more than one power play in a game … and keep working at the power play, I think that’s really good.”
For Johansson that was his third on the season and for the moment was tied with Jason Chimera as the top goal scorer on the Capitals. The Caps defense also started out hot, holding the Panthers to a Panthers season low in shots in a period with only two.
The Capitals came back with two in the third, first was Alexander Semin nailing his second of the season, just so happened to be with former Caps forward Matt Bradley on the ice, and Jason Chimera getting his team leading fourth of the season with an empty netter.
Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun was happy with the effort,
“We played a solid 60 minutes. They traveled last night and they came back much better in the last two periods. We played solid and we didn’t give them much.”
Bruce Boudreau was asked after the game if starting 5-0 for the first time in franchise history meant anything and he said,
“Yeah, 10 points”.
Caps forward Jason Chimera had a slightly different reaction,
“We just gotta keep rolling. It’s a good feeling. We haven’t played the way we wanted to. Tonight was a little better. We just gotta keep on going.”
The Panthers were 5 for 9 on the penalty kill last night, but were held to 0 for 2 tonight. The Capitals were perfect on the power play, scoring on their lone opportunity.
The Capitals head to Philadelphia on Thursday, for only their second road game of the season, as they play the almost as equally hot Flyers who are 4-0-1 on the season.
1 4:24 PP Johansson (3), Backstrom (5), Ovechkin (2)
3 1:49 Semin (2), Knuble (3), Wideman (3)
3 19:16 EN Chimera (4), Semin (3), Laich (2)
Bruce Boudreau Post-Game Press Conference
Dennis Wideman and Tomas Vokoun Locker Room Interviews
Listen here to what Bruce Boudreau, Tomas Vokoun & Dennis Wideman had to say following the victory tonight.
Bruce Boudreau Postgame Audio
Tomas Vokoun Postgame Audio
Dennis Wideman Postgame Audio