Panthers Vs. Capitals: Washington Wins 'Playoff' Game, 4-0, Over Florida

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 07: Jason Chimera #25 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring in the second period against the Florida Panthers at the Verizon Center on February 7, 2012 in Washington, DC. Washington won the game 4-0. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Washington Capitals head coach Dale Hunter referred to Tuesday's game against the Florida Panthers as a "playoff" game. With a win needed to even claim a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, the Caps delivered in a 4-0 win.

Last week, the Panthers defeated the Caps to take over the Southeast Division. Tuesday, it was the complete opposite as Washington leapfrogged Florida for first place.

"We don't want to kind of be a bubble team and just sit there," Vokoun said. "It's not going to be easy. Every game is going to be tough. We definitely want to win our division and that is what we set our goal as."

It was a vintage night in Washington as Alex Ovechkin scored twice and the Caps dominated a Southeast rival, but all that mattered to them was a much-needed victory.

"It is always better winning. We knew what was on the line tonight. We had to win some of these four-point games. They are playoff games and we're battling with Florida. That's our team that we're battling with other teams around us. These two points mean a lot."

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