WASHINGTON (AP) — So far this season very little has gone right for the Washington Capitals.
On Saturday night, everything did.
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.
Mathieu Perreault and Joel Ward each added a goal and an assist, and Alex Ovechkin also scored for Washington (3-8-1), which ended a three-game losing streak one day after a players-only meeting.
"It was a great game all around tonight. Everybody chipped in," Perreault said. "We worked really hard. We had a meeting yesterday and I think everybody today bought in."
It was the first time Washington has scored more than three goals in a game this season.
"I thought tonight we had a really good rhythm for the whole game," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "We've had it at times, but tonight I felt comfortable just rolling all four lines.
The division rivals play at Florida (4-6-1) on Tuesday.
"You don't like to end (the trip) like that because you ended on a sour note," Panthers coach Kevin Dineen said. "We got outworked tonight.
"Everybody didn't have enough to give tonight for us to be successful."
Florida has lost six straight at the Verizon Center.
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.
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.
The Capitals have scored power-play goals in four consecutive games.
It was Brouwer's fifth goal of the season and Holtby's second career assist.