Perhaps it was the players-only meeting. Perhaps it was the opponent. Perhaps it was just time for things to turn around. Whatever the reason, the Caps were able to dominate on the ice and on the scoresheet, put up more than three goals for the first time this year, get stellar goaltending, timely offense and a full 60 minute effort for their third win of the season. This was a win that the Caps sorely needed - and one that was achieved the way it needed to be achieved.
Ten more notes on the game:
Confidence in net has been lacking this season, to say the least, particularly when it came to the play of Braden Holtby. From the start of this one, however, it seemed as if he was tuned in, making a snappy glove save on a two-on-one in the first that oozed with confidence - and which was nothing compared to some of the saves he was making late in the game. Just a great all-around performance by Holtby, who picks up his fourth career shutout.
At first there wasn't a whole lot of intensity in this one, the natural byproduct of two not-very-good teams meeting each other for the first time this year. So perhaps that's why John Erskine decided to drop the gloves with George Parros early in the first. Gutsy move, but you have to think Florida takes that trade any day.
The scoring would open at the end of the first, as Jose Theodore became the victim of an unlucky (or lucky, from our standpoint) bounce off the back of Troy Brouwer's leg. Yet another point picked up on a funky, fluky play by John Carlson, who took the initial shot - or maybe he planned it, who knows?
Recap: Caps 5, Panthers 0
Japers' Rink | Feb 10