Florida Panthers Gameday Preview: Cats Visit the Nation’s Capital

SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Goaltender Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals defends the net against Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on February 22, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images)
SUNRISE, FL - FEBRUARY 22: Goaltender Braden Holtby #70 of the Washington Capitals defends the net against Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers at the BB&T Center on February 22, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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Tonight at 7 P.M. EST, the Washington Capitals will host the Florida Panthers at the appropriately named Capital One Arena.

The Florida Panthers have yet to win a game on the still-young season but have collected points in half of them. After tonight’s matchup, they’ll head back to the BB&T Center to host the also-winless Detroit Red Wings in a one-game homestand.

The Capitals have jumped out to a 3-2-1 record after six games in their defense of the Stanley Cup. This is the final game of their three-game homestand.

They split the first two, with a loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday and a 4-3 overtime win against the New York Rangers on Wednesday. After this one, they’ll embark on a four-game Canadian road trip, with contests in Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, and Montreal.

When Last We Met

The last time Florida took on the Capitals was on February 22nd last season, in Sunrise. The Panthers earned a 3-2 win in front of 15,312 at BB&T with a balanced attack.

Nick Bjugstad, Maxim Mamin, and Vincent Trocheck each lit the lamp, while six different Panthers earned helpers.

Roberto Luongo stopped 33-of-35 goals for the victory, which got the Cats to 27-25-6 while dropping the Caps to 34-20-7.

Florida Panthers
PHILADELPHIA, PA – OCTOBER 16: Aleksander Barkov #16 of the Florida Panthers celebrates his game-tying third period goal against the Philadelphia Flyers with Evgenii Dadonov #63 on October 16, 2018 at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The goal was Barkov’s second of the game. (Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images) /

"“I had the game in my hands to put us in another round of the shootout, and obviously it doesn’t go in, so going to kick myself a little bit about that. We got another game coming up on Friday that we want to get two points.” – Vatrano, as quoted in NHL.com by Adam Kimelman."

Washington Capitals Last Game

John Carlson had a goal and two assists, Alex Ovechkin scored twice, Nicklas Backstrom had a pair of helpers, and Matt Niskanen also lit the lamp for the Caps. Braden Holtby stopped 29-of-32 Rangers shots on goal to earn the victory.

Florida Panthers
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 28: Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers and Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals talk on the ice in the second period at Capital One Arena on March 28, 2018 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

"“Before you know it, it’s coming at you, and I wasn’t able to recover. I learned my lesson there. I’ve played so many times against him I should know to be ready at all times.” – Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, on Ovechkin, as quoted by Brian McNally on NHL.com"

All-Time Series

The Capitals are Florida’s second most frequent opponent, with this being the 124th contest between the two. Only the Tampa Bay Lightning, with 131 games, have played the Cats more. The Panthers own a .484 points percentage, with a 50-54-9-10 record.

This Day in History

The Panthers are 1-2-1-0 on October 19th from 1993 until now. Their only victory was in their last one, in 2013, in a 2-1 shootout win over the Minnesota Wild.

Common Thread

Panthers’ right-winger Troy Brouwer played four seasons with the Capitals, scoring 83 goals with 69 assists in 293 contests from 2011 through 2015.

Florida Panthers
WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 10: Troy Brouwer #20 of the Washington Capitals looks on during the first period against the New York Rangers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Semifinals during the 2015 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Verizon Center on May 10, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Standings

Florida Panthers: 0-2-2, two points, on pace for 41 points, .250 points percentage, last five: x-O-L-L-O. Seventh in the Atlantic Division, 15th in the Eastern Conference, 29th in the NHL. Playoff Percentage: 30.0%

Washington Capitals: 3-2-1, seven points, on pace for 96 points, .583 points percentage, last five: O-W-L-L-W. Fifth in the Metropolitan Division, ninth in the Eastern Conference, 15th in the NHL. Playoff Percentage: 62.2%

Starting Lineup

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Injury Report

Luongo is on injured reserve with a Grade 1 MCL sprain. He will miss from two-to-four weeks.

Derek MacKenzie has missed the last three games and is questionable with an upper-body injury.

Mike Matheson is still suspended (one game remaining).

Milestones

Games: Alexander Petrovic will play in his 233rd Panthers game, moving past Kamil Kreps into sole possession of 44th on the all-time list.

Florida Panthers
SUNRISE, FL – OCTOBER 11: Jonathan Huberdeau #11 of the Florida Panthers skates for possession against Josh Anderson #77 of the Columbus Blue Jackets at the BB&T Center on October 11, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Goals: Jonathan Huberdeau‘s next goal will tie him with Ray Whitney in 10th on Florida’s all-time list, with 97. Aaron Ekblad‘s next marker will give him 54, tying him with Tom Fitzgerald and Tomas Fleischmann in 21st. Evgeni Dadonov, next one, his 41st, will tie him with Sean Bergenheim in 36th all-time.

More from Panthers News

Assists: Barkov will pass Jay Bouwmeester with his next helper into sole possession of 10th on the all-time Panthers list, with his 151st. Nick Bjugstad’s next will tie him with Bill Lindsay in 18th, with his 98th. Ekblad’s next one will be his 82nd, which will break a tie with Jaromir Jagr in 24th. Dadonov’s next helper will give him 50, tying him in 49th with Niklas Hagman.

Points: Keith Yandle’s next point will be his 102nd with the Panthers, moving him into a tie with Ed Jovanovski in 39th all-time. Dadonov’s next will be his 90th, breaking a tie with Valeri Bure in 44th.

Wins: James Reimer will break a tie with longtime backup goalie Scott Clemmensen with his next victory, moving him into sole possession of fifth with his 41st.

Florida Panthers
SUNRISE, FL – OCTOBER 13: Goaltender James Reimer #34 of the Florida Panthers on the ice during warm ups prior to the start of the game against the Vancouver Canucks at the BB&T Center on October 13, 2018 in Sunrise, Florida. (Photo by Eliot J. Schechter/NHLI via Getty Images) /

Stat Leaders

Goals: Dadonov, Barkov, and Frank Vatrano each have two.

Assists: Yandle – 4, Trocheck – 3, Dadonov, Denis Malgin, Jared McCann, Mark Pysyk – 2

Points: Yandle, Trocheck, Dadonov – 4

Shots on Goal: Yandle – 15, Barkov – 14, Dadonov -13, Hoffman -12

Blocked Shots: Yandle – 7, Petrovic, Pysyk, Brouwer – 6

Hits: Trocheck – 12, Petrovic – 10, Brouwer – 9

Faceoff Percentage (minimum 12): Barkov – 53.9%, Trocheck – 50.7%, McCann – 50.0%, Malgin – 50.0%

Florida Panthers Outlasted by the Philadelphia Flyers. dark. Next

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