Didn’t Alex Ovechkin say this was supposed to be tough?
Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals made it look kinda easy tonight, topping the Florida Panthers 4-0 in a big Southeast Division matchup. This win moves the Caps into first overall in the division while the Panthers take Washington’s place outside the East’s top eight at No. 9.
Washington’s two up-and-down stars figured in heavily to the win. Tomas Vokoun earned his second shutout against his former team, turning aside all 42 shots. Ovechkin looked an awful lot like the force that fans miss and opponents hoped was long gone, scoring two goals and firing seven shots (five that registered and two that missed the net).
Frustrations in Florida
With those 42 shots on goal, the Panthers should know that there was at least a decent effort put forth. That being said, Scott Clemmensen had a rough night, allowing four goals on just 24 shots.
Word is that Jose Theodore is nearing a return and goalie prospect Jacob Markstrom is also making progress from his own knee injury, so perhaps Florida will get some help in net when it’s needed.
If the playoffs began today, the winner of the Southeast Division would be the third seed while the second place team wouldn’t even make the postseason. It’s not time for the Panthers to panic, but the playoff-starved franchise must be flustered by the thought of possibly falling short once again after such an especially promising start.