Florida Panthers (3-8-2) at Washington Capitals (6-7-0)
The Panthers are back on the road tonight when they face the Washington Capitals at 7:00 p.m. The game will be the Panthers’ first road game since their October 15th loss to the Nashville Predators.
The Panthers are playing their second back-to-back of the season having lost last night 4-0 to the St. Louis Blues. The Panthers split their first back-to-back, a road-home set which saw them lose 7-2 in Tampa before defeating the Pens at home 6-3. The Capitals also played last night and were also involved in a shutout, the only difference being the Capitals were on the positive side as they defeated the Flyers 7-0 in Philadelphia.
With the Panthers moving to the Atlantic Division and the Caps moving to the Metropolitan, tonight will be the first matchup between these two teams as non-division rivals since the formation of the Southeast Division in 1998-99. The Panthers are not belaboring the loss of their rival as the Capitals have dominated Florida recently. Washington has won the last seven match ups with the last Panther win coming on February 1, 2012 a 4-2 victory in Florida. The Capitals have won seven straight home games against the Panthers and Florida has not won in Washington since 2010.
The Capitals dominated the Flyers last night despite being without Alex Ovechkin who missed the game with an upper-body injury he sustained Monday against the Canucks. The Flyers game was the first game Ovechkin missed since February 22, 2012. Ovechkin’s status for tonight is still up in the air but the Panthers are probably hoping that the Russian takes the cautious route and sits out again. Ovechkin has killed the Panthers throughout his career scoring 30 goals and 31 assists in 47 games against Florida.
It looks like Scott Clemmensen may get his first start of the season for the Panthers tonight. With Tim Thomas still out with a lower-body injury, the Panthers have been rolling with Jacob Markstrom. Marky has struggled and has a 1-5-2 record to go along with a .881 Sv%. Last night against the Blues, Markstrom allowed four goals on just 23 shots. Clemmensen has been back and forth between the Panthers and their AHL affiliate the San Antonio Rampage. In his career against Washington, Clemmensen is 4-7-2 with a 3.90 GAA and .858 Sv %.
Thats all for now, when we find out for sure who is in net and whether Ovechkin will play, we will let you know. For now share your thoughts about the game in the comments section below and follow The Rat Trick on Twitter and Facebook for all the latest.
Aso, checkout the brawl from last night in Philly. We even get a goalie fight between Holtby and Emery.