Brouwer scores 2 as Capitals blank Panthers 5-0
WASHINGTON (AP) - Troy Brouwer scored two goals and Braden Holtby stopped 27 shots and assisted on Brouwer's second goal and the Washington Capitals shut out the Florida Panthers 5-0 in the opener of a home-and-home series Saturday night.
Mathieu Perreault and Joel Ward each added a goal and an assist, and Alex Ovechkin also scored for Washington (3-8-1), which snapped a three-game losing streak.
It was the first time Washington has scored more than three goals in a game this season.
The two teams play at Florida (4-6-1) on Tuesday.
The Capitals took a 1-0 lead at 17:45 of the first period when the puck came out from behind the Panthers' net off the stick of Florida's Jerred Smithson to Capitals defenseman John Carlson in the right circle. Carlson's shot was deflected past goalie Jose Theodore by Brouwer in front of the net.
Washington's power play has continued its strong run.
With George Parros off for interference early in the second period, Holtby gathered in a Florida clearing attempt and sent a long pass to Brouwer just outside the Panthers blue line.
Brouwer skated in alone and from the right circle wristed a shot past Theodore into the upper left corner to make it 2-0 at 3:36 of the second period.
It was Brouwer's fifth goal of the season and Holtby's second career assist.
The Capitals have scored power-play goals in four consecutive games.
Later in the second, Joel Ward gave the Capitals their first three-goal lead of the season when he beat Theodore from the left circle after Perreault and Eric Fehr worked the puck out from along the boards. It was Ward's fifth goal of the season.
Ovechkin made it 4-0 at 3:49 of the third period when he scored off a faceoff. It was Ovechkin's fourth goal of the season, but first at even strength. Jason Chimera and Mike Ribeiro had the assists.
Perreault, who returned to the lineup Saturday night after being a healthy scratch the past five games, banged in the rebound of a Jeff Schultz shot at 9:28 to close the scoring.
NOTES: Washington's John Erskine returned from a three-game suspension he received for an elbow to the face of the Flyers' Wayne Simmonds on Feb. 1. ... Erskine and Florida's George Parros had a fight at 5:44 of the first period. ... Washington Nationals third baseman Ryan Zimmerman was at the game.