Instant analysis of the Capitals’ ugly but effective 5-4 win over the Florida Panthers Thursday night at BB&TCenter”

How it happened: The Capitals blew a pair of two-goal leads but pulled out their third straight win and first following the Olympic break, when Alex Ovechkin rifled his 41st goal of the season past Tim Thomas with 4:17 remaining in regulation.

What it means: Thanks to Philadelphia’s 7-3 loss to San Jose, the Caps moved within one point of the Flyers. The Caps [28-23-9, 65 points] and Flyers [30-24-6, 66 points] each have played 60 games. They face each other twice more this season in a crucial back-to-back set on Sunday in Washington and Wednesday in Philly.

Injury scare: Mikhail Grabovski, who missed eight straight games before the Olympic break with what is believed to be a high ankle sprain, aggravated the injury in the first period and did not return.