After a crushing (understatement) victory over the Philadelphia Flyers, the Washington Capitals come into tonight’s game against the Florida Panthers with a 6-7 record on the season. Last night the team opened the flood gates against the Flyers – winning by a score of 7-0.
Tonight it sounds as if coach Adam Oates will roll with the same lines as last night, and the Caps will again be without their captain – the Capitals website stated that Ovechkin is listed as day-to-day. One can only hope that the Ovechkin-less Capitals can put together a similar performance as last night – half the offensive output would probably get the job done against the Panthers.
Last night in Florida the Panthers lost 4-0 to the St.Louis Blues – they will come into town with a 3-8-2 record, with 8 points in the standings. There are only three other teams in the NHL with a similar or worse record than the Panthers – the Oilers also have 8 points, the Flyers have 6 points, and the league worst Sabres have 5 points.
Former Capital Tomas Fleischmann is the leading point contributor for the Panthers – coming into tonight’s game he has 2 goals and 7 assists for 9 points total. The leading goal scorer for Florida is currently Brad Boyes with 5 goals on the year so far – he also has 2 assists, giving him 7 points and placing him second on the Panthers roster in points.
The Panthers currently have three goalies listed on their roster, with Tim Thomas on injured reserve, and Jacob Markstrom losing last night, it is thought that Scott Clemmensen will make his second start of the season. Last season Clemmensen appeared in 19 games for Florida and had a record of 3-7-0-2. With the dramatic events occurring last night in the Caps – Flyers game it would be a shock if Braden Holtby started tonight, the Capitals will most likely be playing Michal Neuvirth.
Last season these two teams met 4 times, and the Capitals won every game. Two out of four games were won by 5+ goals, one was a 4-3 victory, and one was an overtime win with a score of 6-5. Holtby was the winning goaltender all four times for the Caps. During the four losses the Panthers rotated through three goaltenders: Clemmensen, Markstrom, and Theodore.