"It was a must-win for us, obviously," said Panthers center
Olli Jokinen, who scored twice. "I guess we have to be satisfied --
we played .500. But at this point in the year, it's not going to be
enough for us."
Sean Hill added a goal in regulation for the Panthers, who ended
a season-long five-game road trip with a 2-2-1 record. Horton and
Nieuwendyk added two assists apiece.
"We had a jump at the beginning of the game," Zubrus said.
"We were playing well and then, just like a couple of games ago,
we got into trouble with penalties. Seems like a broken record."
Horton and Nieuwendyk both scored by putting the puck between
Olaf Kolzig's pads after Kolzig had blocked the first shootout
attempt by Jokinen. Brooks Laich scored a shootout goal for the
Capitals, but Luongo made a kick save at the left post on Ovechkin
and batted away Brian Willsie's shot with his left hand.
Ovechkin was 5-for-7 on shootout attempts before being denied by
Luongo's sprawling stop.
"That's my job -- make saves and try to keep my team in it. I
was trying to wait (Ovechkin) out," said Luongo, who made 29 saves
in regulation and four more in overtime. "I just hoped I could get
a piece of it."
Florida won its second game at MCI Center this season, snapping
a three-game losing streak. Against the rest of the NHL, the
Panthers are 3-16-4 on the road. The Panthers have also won five
straight overall against Washington.
"We just got lucky in here a couple of times," Horton said.
"We worked hard, we battled and we got points."
Heward's slap shot from the right point gave Washington a 1-0
lead 19 seconds into the game, and Zubrus got his 100th career goal
on a power play to make it 2-0 at 3:57.
Zubrus dashed to the right post to put in a cross-crease pass
from Matt Pettinger, giving the Capitals a power-play goal in nine
straight games, a season high.
Hill's wrister from the top of the right circle at 17:25 cut the
lead in half.
Florida, which failed on a 1:04 two-man advantage in the opening
period, got goals from Jokinen on successive power-play
opportunities 50 seconds apart midway through the second.
A holding penalty on Steve Eminger set up Jokinen's 19th goal of
the season at 10:16. Jokinen fired a shot past a screened Kolzig
from the right point to tie it.
Laich went off for high-sticking 12 seconds later and Jokinen
put the Panthers ahead at 11:06, sweeping in a cross-ice feed by
Nieuwendyk from low in the left circle.
Zubrus' man-up goal tied it with 7:17 left in regulation. Zubrus
scored from the right circle, one-timing a pass from Bryan Muir.
Jokinen had not scored a goal in five games, matching his
longest drought of the season. ... Zubrus has a point in five
straight games, a career high. ... Ovechkin has assisted on all six
of Heward's goals. ... Florida scratched C Stephen Weiss (wrist)
for a fourth consecutive game, while Capitals C Jeff Halpern
(groin) missed his third straight game.