Capitals look to end skid in the sunshine state

Here we go.
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals
T.J. Oshie, Washington Capitals / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

This upcoming stretch for the Washington Capitals is of utomost importance. We all know they take on the Florida Panthers tonight at Capial One Arena. But the road ahead is scary too. The motto? One game at a time.

I'll get the boring part out of the way, Caps are second to last in the Metropolitan Division. Their opponent tonight sits second in the Atlantic. And this was also the team that ended the Caps season in their last playoff game to date which just so happened to be on a Friday the 13th.

Then it's a weekend back to back. Again! And it's against the Boston Bruins on national TV on ABC on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. They're second in the league after winning the Presidents Trophy last year.

Before you watch the Super Bowl this Sunday and decide to root for either the Chiefs, 49ers, commericals or a good game, there is an afternoon matinee on home ice against the Canucks who sit not only first in the Pacific but first in the entire league.. Watch that one before the football game at your own risk.

Then it's the Avalanche at home the night before we all get ready for either our valentines or to improve ourselves for next Valentine's Day. And if you're still single and like the Caps it certainly doesn't help that the Avs are not only the best team in the Central but the Western Conference as a whole.

I really hate being the bearer of bad news. It's not fun. It's Montreal once again on the 17th but this time on the road. And the Caps lost to them twice already inlcuding Tuesday night on home ice.

Finally that fifth game comes on the 20th which is a Tuesday night against the Devils. They will have just played the Flyers in the Stadium Series at the Meadowlands and that team will be in either a good mood or a bad mood depending on the outcome. It's a team the Caps can beat but if they're angry watch out. We know what it's like when the Penguins play the Caps when Pittsburgh is on a lengthy winning streak.

Bottom line? Win tonight. Only update here before the game per The Washington Post's Bailey Johnson is that Matthew Phillips and Ethan Bear are IN while Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Trevor van Riemsdyk are OUT. Darcy Kuemper gets the net. Tune in tonight at 7 p.m. on Monumental Sports Network.