Green continues hot streak, scores twice in 3rd to lift Caps over Panthers, 3-1

The Baltimore Sun

Defenseman Mike Green broke a tie on a power play 43 seconds into the third period, then added an empty-netter, lifting the host Washington Capitals over the Florida Panthers, 3-1, last night and giving him goals in six consecutive games.

That's the longest goal streak by a defenseman in Capitals history.

Green leads NHL defensemen with a career-high 19 goals and 46 points this season, despite missing 13 games. He's second in the NHL with 14 power-play scores.

His tiebreaker came off assists from reigning Most Valuable Player Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and while Panthers center Stephen Weiss was in the penalty box for holding.

Jose Theodore made 21 saves for the Capitals, who killed a five-minute power play that expired with a second left in the game.

Eric Fehr put Washington ahead only 33 seconds into the game when he got behind Florida's defense, took a pass from Tomas Fleischmann and put the puck past goalie Tomas Vokoun. It was the second game in a row the Capitals scored quickly: They needed 15 seconds to get on the board Thursday against Los Angeles, although the Kings wound up winning, 5-4.

The Panthers tied it at 1 8:35 into the game on Keith Ballard's fifth goal of the season.

Ovechkin leads the NHL not only in goals, but also in shots, and in yesterday's first period, he put the puck on net six times - only once fewer than the entire Panthers team.

Et cetera: The Capitals recalled forward Alexandre Giroux, the American Hockey League's second-leading goal scorer with 57 points, from the Hershey Bears. ... Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Holmstrom (hernia surgery) will miss up to five weeks but should be healthy for the playoffs. ... The Dallas Stars placed controversial left wing Sean Avery on waivers, moving him one step closer toward a possible return to the NHL.

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