The Washington Capitals end their three-game road trip on Monday with a stop at BB&T Center to clash with the Florida Panthers. The Panthers were victorious when they saw the Capitals last time. It was a 5-4 overtime win back on February 11 at Capital One Arena. After a physical and milestone-making night on Saturday, the Capitals defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 6-3, and are continuing to lead the Metropolitan Division at 47-24-8 with 102 points.
Standing at fourth place overall in the NHL, Washington is looking to close out their last road game of the season on Monday night with another win. In their last ten games, the Capitals went 6-3-1 and improved their away record to 24-14-2.
Captain Alex Ovechkin hit another record in Saturday’s win against the Lightning, scoring his 50th and 51st goals of the season. Along with Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky, he joins the list of players who have scored 50 goals in eight seasons. Center Nicklas Backstrom and right wing T.J. Oshie both scored two goals in the last game. Backstrom scored his 20th and 21st goals and Oshie collected his 24th and 25th of the season. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov reached the seventy point plateau getting to a total of 71 points thanks to his two assists in Tampa.
The Capitals’ special teams stats consist of 21.2% power play efficiency and 79% on the penalty kill. Ovechkin’s 51st goal on Saturday was his 18th PPG for the season.
Goaltender Braden Holtby is 4-1-0 in his last five games. With a save percentage of .910, Holtby has a 2.85 goals against average and has only allowed nine goals and made 136 saves in those five games. His history against the Panthers is 10-2-2, with .902 save percentage, and a 2.78 goals against average.
The Florida Panthers beat the Boston Bruins 4-1 on Saturday at TD Garden and are now 35-32-12 with 82 points. As they ride a two-game win streak, the Cats are 5-5-0 in their recent ten games. Monday’s matchup against the Capitals will the first of the three final home games for the Panthers in 2018-19 season. Their home numbers stand at 19-13-6.
Left wing Mike Hoffman leads the team with 35 goals. He has not scored since March 23 against the Bruins in a 7-3 loss. Center Aleksander Barkov has 91 points this season. His most recent point came from an assist during Saturday’s game in Boston.
With 27.1% efficiency, the Cats are second in the league on the power play and are twelfth for the penalty kill at 80.9%. Hoffman has 18 power play goals. His last PPG was when the Panthers hosted the Arizona Coyotes on March 21 in a 4-2 win. Defenseman MacKenzie Weegar has 62 penalty minutes for the team.
With one shutout this season, goaltender Roberto Luongo is 17-16-4 with a .900 save percentage. In his last five games, he is 3-2-0, allowed fourteen goals, and made 142 saves. His goals against average are 3.10. Against the Washington Capitals, Luongo is 22-12-3, a save percentage of .923, and 2.42 goals against average.
Goaltender James Reimer has not started since March 26 when the Panthers lost 6-1 to the Montreal Canadiens. Reimer’s save percentage stands at .900 and his goals against average are 3.09. He has not had any shutouts this season and is at 13-12-5.
▪ John Carlson is one point away from 70 points, which continues his career high.
▪ Dmitry Orlov is close to reaching 30 points this season.
▪ Alex Ovechkin is two points shy of hitting the 90 point plateau.
By Della Young