ReCat: Caps Locked

Florida makes short work of the NHL-best Washington Capitals.

Tuesday night in Washington D.C., the Florida Panthers won a 5-2 decision against the NHL-best Capitals.

The Panthers scored two goals each in the first and the second period, adding an empty netter late in the third period. The Capitals managed only two of their own, early in the third, but failed to build any more momentum.

Jonathan Huberdeau (9, 10) finished with two goals and an assist, Vincent Trocheck (15) and Aleksander Barkov (14) had a goal and an assist each, and Quinton Howden (6) also lit the lamp for the Panthers. Nick Bjugstad earned two helpers, while Reilly Smith, Jussi Jokinen, and Jaromir Jagr also earned an assist apiece. Two of Florida's markers were at even strength, two were on the power play, and Howden's was an empty netter. Nicklas Backstrom (17) and Andre Burakovsky (8) lit the lamp for the Caps.

Florida's backup netminder, Al Montoya, stopped 36 shots for the win. His record now stands at 8-2-1 for the season, and his save percentage is a nifty .931, far above his career .909 mark. Phillip Grubauer proved unable to keep pace, making 14 saves on 18 Panthers' shots. Japers' Rink has more on the Caps.

The Panthers now have 65 points in their first 50 games of the season, their second best mark ever after 50. The eventual Eastern Conference Champion 1995-96 squad earned 67 over the same time-frame 20 years ago. Check back in the morning for the full A.M. recap.