- Florida goalie Tomas Vokoun was impregnable against the Capitals' attack. (Photo: Associated Press)
The Washington Capitals lost their fourth game in a row Thursday night at the Verizon Center, falling to the Florida Panthers 3-0.
The Capitals largely had Florida goaltender Tomas Vokoun to thank for their frustrating evening at the office, as Vokoun was equal to the task in stopping every single one of the 36 shots the Caps put on net. Of course, the Capitals could also point the finger at their own profligacy on the power play. Washington received no fewer than eight power plays, including a 1:53-long two-man advantage in the first period, and despite putting 17 shots on net during those power plays, the home team could not manage to put one in the net.
It wasn't all one-way traffic at the Verizon Center, however, as the Panthers forced Capitals goaltender Semyon Varlamov to make a spectacular double save during one of their shorthanded periods early in the game. Florida's first goal came as a result of another prolonged spell of pressure late in the second period. At last, the Capitals were unable to clear a loose puck in Varlamov's crease, and Michael Frolik was on hand to pop it home with one second to spare before the second intermission.
The Panthers doubled their lead at 8:50 of the third period, when a shot from the left faceoff circle by Stephen Weiss clanged off the crossbar and right to the stick of Steve Bernier, who reacted before anyone else, and deposited the puck into the open net. Mike Santorelli added the coup de grace at 17:26 of the third period as, with the Panthers on a power play and Varlamov coming much too far out of his net to play the puck, the centerman simply reached around the prone figure of Varlamov with his stick to slide the puck into another unguarded net.