Created: 11/02/2013 11:05 PM WHEC.com
(AP) WASHINGTON, D.C. - Nicklas Backstrom scored in the first period and added the winning goal in the shootout to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over the Florida Panthers on Saturday night.
The Capitals won their second game in a row without Alex Ovechkin, who is out with an unspecified upper-body injury.
Tomas Fleishmann tied the game for Florida on a power-play goal with 2:38 left in the third.
The Capitals also got shootout tallies from Mikhail Grabovski and Brooks Laich.
Ovechkin had 10 goals in 12 games before he was hurt in the first period Monday at Vancouver. Since then, the Capitals have outscored opponents 9-2 and reached .500 (7-7).
John Carlson also scored for Washington and Michal Neuvirth stopped 31 shots in regulation.
Jesse Winchester had the Panthers’ other goal.
Washington broke at 16:41 of the first period with a fast-break goal that Backstrom started and finished. After winning a faceoff at the red line, he received a lead pass from Eric Fehr and fired a 15-foot shot through the legs of Florida goalie Scott Clemmensen.
Winchester tied it at 8:20 of the second period on a breakaway goal, but Carlson answered 36 seconds later for Washington. Fourth-line center Michael Latta got his first NHL assist in helping Carlson score the first goal for a Washington defenseman in 30 days.
Clemmensen made 21 saves in regulation.
NOTES: The Capitals have a 13-8-2 record in games missed by Ovechkin. . A night after brawling with the Philadelphia Flyers at the end of their 7-0 win, the Caps were involved in more conventional tussle as Marcel Goc of the Panthers went after Latta after the Washington rookie elbowed Fleischmann, Florida’s top scorer. . Washington’s Marcus Johansson took what appeared an inadvertent stick to his chin in the third period.