WASHINGTON -- The Washington Capitals wanted to prove their blowout win in Philadelphia on Friday wasn't a fluke.
The Florida Panthers wanted to erase the bad memories of a shutout loss to the St. Louis Blues on Friday.
Mission accomplished on both counts.
Nicklas Backstrom scored once in regulation and netted the game-winner in the shootout, giving the Capitals a 3-2 win over the Panthers on Saturday night.
"Tonight was an ugly one," said Backstrom, who has three goals during Alex Ovechkin's two-game absence with an upper-body injury. "Neuvy (Michal Neuvirth) played great and kept us in the game."
Neuvirth stopped 31 of 33 shots and robbed Jonathan Huberdeau with a glove save in the shootout to improve to 2-2-0 this season.
Florida goaltender Scott Clemmensen stopped 21 of 23 shots but could not make a save in the shootout, allowing goals by Mikhail Grabovski, Brooks Laich and Backstrom.
Despite losing for the fifth straight time, Panthers coach Kevin Dineen was pleased with his team's play.
"Overall, that's a good snapshot of the potential that we can give," Dineen said. "It's disappointing to not get the (two) points but we certainly were happy with the effort."
The Panthers showed some fight in the loss, tying the score with 2:38 remaining in regulation when Tomas Fleischmann scored a 4-on-3 power-play goal.
With Washington defenseman Steve Oleksy in the box for slashing, Huberdeau wheeled around the back of the Capitals' net and found Fleishmann in front for a snap shot that tied the score at 2 and sent the game into overtime.
"That's a very undisciplined penalty," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "We can't have that. Stevie knows that, but you can't lose your cool; you can't. It puts us behind the 8-ball. Guys have to play more (shorthanded) minutes. It's uncharacteristic of him and fortunately the shootout bailed him out."
Coming off a fight-filled 7-0 road win over the Flyers on Friday, the Capitals were hoping to draw energy from their home crowd against the Panthers, who were outplayed in a 4-0 home loss to the Blues the night before.
Dineen benched three regulars -- forwards Kris Versteeg and Sean Bergenheim and defenseman Matt Gilroy -- in an attempt to snap a four-game losing streak.
"What we have to do is believe that if we are going to play well the wins are going to come," Fleischmann said. "I think we took a good step in the right direction."
The Capitals opened the scoring 16:41 into the first period when Backstrom threaded a shot between the pads of Clemmensen, who was making just his second start of the season.
The goal was Backstrom's third in two nights and gave him the team lead over Ovechkin with 16 points.
The Panthers entered the game 1-7-2 when allowing the first goal, but they managed to tie the score 8:20 into the second period when Jesse Winchester beat Neuvirth, who was making his third start of the season.
Washington restored its one-goal lead just 36 seconds later when Carlson scored his first goal of the season and 100th point of his career, firing a pass from Michael Latta high over Clemmensen's glove hand for a 2-1 lead.
The Capitals had two chances to build their lead on the power play, but they were held off the board by Clemmensen.
The game got heated in the third period when Krys Barch was called for charging after ramming Washington defenseman Alex Urbom into the boards. Barch's tooth was jarred loose on the hit and replays showed him pulling it out on the bench and tossing it into the crowd.
NOTES: The Capitals had a 17-4-1 record in their previous 22 games against the Panthers and had won seven straight meetings. ... Washington's third line of Mikhail Grabovski, Jason Chimera and Joel Ward entered the game with nine goals and 11 assists in its previous four games. ... The Caps are hoping Ovechkin will be able to return to the lineup when they continue their three-game homestand on Tuesday night against the New York Islanders. ... The Panthers return home to face the Edmonton Oilers on Tuesday, then hit the road for eight of the next nine games.