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Capitals beat Panthers 5-4 in shootout

SARAH LARIMER | 1/14/2010, noon


SUNRISE, Fla. (AP) -- Tomas Fleischmann scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers on Wednesday night, Jan. 13.

Jason Chimera, Brian Pothier, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom scored in regulation for the Capitals. Michael Frolik, Dominic Moore, Stephen Weiss and Gregory Campbell countered for Florida, and Tomas Vokoun stopped 33 shots.

Jose Theodore stopped all 15 shots he faced after replacing Michal Neuvirth with Florida leading 4-1 midway through the second period. Brendan Morrison and Brooks Laich also had shootout goals for the Capitals, while Frolik and Weiss scored for Florida in the tiebreaker.Ovechkin's unassisted goal cut Florida's lead to one early in the third period. He picked up a loose puck and scored 27 seconds into the third, making it 4-3. The Capitals tied it at 4 on Backstrom's tip-in goal, which trickled through Vokoun's pads at 12:25 in the third.

Campbell's goal, his first of the season, chased Neuvirth and put Florida up 4-1 at 9:49 in the second. Washington made it 4-2 when Pothier scored with 3:48 remaining in the second period.

With Washington down 2-0 after the first period, Chimera closed the gap to 2-1 just 18 seconds into the second with his unassisted goal. Florida responded with Weiss' power-play goal. His slap shot from the blue line went through Neuvirth's pads to give the Panthers a 3-1 lead at 4:04 in the second.

Moore scored at 15:11 in the first period on an odd shot that initially wasn't credited as a goal. His backhand shot hit the crossbar and ricocheted out of the net. The crowd started to cheer but the siren that signals a goal remained silent. The shot was reviewed when play stopped about a minute later and the goal was awarded, stretching Florida's lead to 2-0.

Frolik opened the scoring at 6:44 in the first period. He took a pass from Weiss and beat Neuvirth with a backhander to put the Panthers up 1-0.

In each of Washington's three previous games against Florida this season, Ovechkin hasn't been on the ice. An upper-body injury sidelined Ovechkin for a home-and-home series in November and he was suspended when the Capitals faced Florida on Dec. 3. The Panthers still lost all three games.

NOTES: The Panthers collected donations for victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The team asked fans to bring checks, cash, clothing or food to the BankAtlantic Center. The Panthers also will accept donations Saturday against the Lightning. ... Panthers LW David Booth (concussion) participated in non-contact drills the morning skate. ... Washington and Florida are scheduled to meet two more times this season.

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