Lars Eller and Brendan Leipsic both scored third-period goals as the Washington Capitals defeated the visiting Florida Panthers 4-3 Wednesday night.
The victory ended a two-game Washington losing streak. Florida now has dropped three in a row.
The Capitals had scored just two goals in their past two games before breaking out a bit in this one. Florida outshot Washington 40-20 and came up with numerous scoring chances, but goalie Braden Holtby made 37 stops, and the Capitals came through in the final 20 minutes.
Eller got the tiebreaking goal, and Leipsic added some insurance a few minutes later for a 4-2 lead. The Panthers got one back but could do no more.
Alex Ovechkin scored the game’s first goal on a quick shot that slid through goalie Sergei Bobrovsky’s five hole with 2:03 remaining in the first period.
Florida tied it when former Capital Brett Connolly scored on a breakaway goal. Vincent Trocheck grabbed a bad Washington pass in the defensive zone, sprung Connolly with a nice stretch pass, and Connolly put it past Holtby with 8:43 left in the second period.
The teams then swapped late goals to end the second with a 2-2 tie. Richard Panik scored with one minute remaining on a shot from the right circle, giving the Caps a brief 2-1 lead.
Then, 22 seconds later, Mike Hoffman tied it for the Panthers, also with a shot from the right circle.
Washington broke the tie 5:18 into the third period, when Eller put away the rebound of a Jakub Vrana shot. Vrana raced up the left wing and fired a shot that Bobrovsky stopped, but the puck came back out between the circles, and Eller backhanded it into the net for a 3-2 lead.
Leipsic broke in on Bobrovsky and beat him on a backhander with 8:01 left.
Trocheck then cut the lead to 4-3 with on his goal with 4:29 left.
The Panthers pulled Bobrovsky, but a late penalty basically negated that move, and the Caps held on.
—Field Level Media