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Semyon Varlamov showed there were no lingering effects from a disappointing finish at the Winter Olympics.
Paal Golberg won the individual cross-country final at the Lahti Ski Games on Saturday for his first World Cup triumph, finishing ahead of Russia's Alexey Petukhov and fellow Norwegian Eirik Brandsdal.
Joel Ward and Eric Fehr also scored, and Braden Holtby made 36 saves for the Capitals, who won their fourth straight in their chase for one of the Eastern Conference's final playoff spots.
The Capitals are closing in on deadline day. Will they deal Marty Erat? What is their greatest need?
Alex Ovechkin rebounded from his Olympic disappointment.
On a night when Calgary honored Canadian Olympians in a pregame ceremony, a pair of Team USA players were the big stars.
Ovechkin scored the go-ahead goal in the third period and had two assists and Troy Brouwer had two power-play goals Thursday night, lifting the Washington Capitals to a 5-4 victory over the Florida Panthers.
One player looked relieved, if tired. The other still appeared to be in shock. The Capitals' two stars returned from the Winter Olympics in Sochi in different states of mind on Tuesday. Alex Ovechkin, though disappointed his team failed to medal, received a far bigger scare when his father, Mikhail, suffered a heart attack on Feb. 16. Nicklas Backstrom, on the other hand, looked little better than he did two days ago in Sochi.
The Sochi Olympics are over and the NHL is back after freezing its schedule so that the world's best hockey players could compete for gold - perhaps for the last time.