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(Thursday, March 7th)
Final Score: Washington 7, Florida 1
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Braden Holtby made 29 saves and seven different Capitals scored in Washington's 7-1 dismantling of the Florida Panthers at Verizon Center.
Alex Ovechkin, Wojtek Wolski and Mike Ribeiro each had a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who have erupted for 18 goals in three victories over the Panthers this season.
John Erskine and John Carlson each scored in a four-goal first period, while Eric Fehr and Mathieu Perreault both got in on the act in the third.
Jacob Markstrom, fresh off his first win of the season against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday, started in net for Florida and was quickly pulled after giving up goals on Washington's first two shots. Scott Clemmensen yielded five goals on 24 shots in relief, and Jack Skille scored the Panthers' lone goal.
These Southeast Division rivals came in tied for last place in the Eastern Conference, but the Capitals are on their way up with wins in eight of their last 11 games, while the Panthers have dropped four of their last five.
"The guys are playing better and good things are happening. ... All in all, in the last three weeks we've only had one bad game," Capitals head coach Adam Oates said.
Markstrom let up two soft goals in the first 3:10, as he was unable to handle Erskine's seemingly innocuous slap shot 1:58 in and saw Wolski's weak wraparound find the back of the net before he found a seat on the bench.
"I couldn't stop the puck on the first two shots. (There's) no excuse for that," Markstrom said. "It was terrible. I feel like I let the team down. I am there to stop pucks and I didn't do that tonight."
Clemmensen came in and allowed two more goals over a 2:32 span. Carlson's low slap shot off a faceoff win lit the lamp at 5:38, and Ribeiro took Ovechkin's feed from behind the net and beat a flat-footed Clemmensen for a 4-0 lead.
Florida defenseman Tyson Strachan was whistled for a game misconduct for interference 8:57 into the second period, and Ovechkin capitalized with a snap shot from the left circle 20 seconds into the five-minute power play.
After Fehr's power-play tally made it 6-0, Skille ended Holtby's shutout bid with 9:11 to play.
Perreault finished off the rout with a goal in the final minute.
The Capitals have won six straight in this series, and Florida has dropped seven in a row in D.C. ... The Capitals have outscored the Panthers 22-2 at Verizon Center dating back to last season.
03/07 23:26:50 ET