Washington at Florida Preview: Capitals Finish Season Set With Florida In Sunrise

Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals finish their season series with the Florida Panthers on Tuesday night in Sunrise. After the Panthers fought off the Capitals’ three-goal comeback with a 5-4 overtime win in Florida on November 4, the Capitals hung on for a 4-3 victory at Capital One Arena on Friday evening. Action from FLA Live Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington beginning at 7 PM ET.

Schedule

The Capitals wrap up a two-game road trip through the south after a 4-2 win against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena on Sunday afternoon and a three-game stretch where they play two of the best teams in terms of points percentage in a span of three games (Hurricanes: .816, Panthers: .775).

The Panthers continue a four-game homestand and stretch where they play eight of nine games at FLA Live Arena (4-2-0 so far). Most recently, they lost to the Seattle Kraken by a score of 4-1 a night after falling to the Capitals last week.

Records

Capitals on the road: 7-2-2 (fifth in NHL), .727 points percentage; 5-1-2 in last eight road games

Panthers at home: 11-1-0 (first), .917 points percentage; suffered first home loss of season on Saturday

How Each Team Is Doing

Capitals: won two straight and are 9-1-1 (third best) since going 0-2-1 from November 1-7; have averaged 3.73 goals-per-game (fifth) and 2.09 goals-against per game (third) over stretch; also have a league-best 96.3% penalty-killing percentage since November 7

Panthers: two straight regulation losses since four-game winning streak and six-game point-streak (4-0-2) ended

Standings

Capitals: 14-3-5 (two points ahead of Hurricanes and Panthers for first in NHL, lead Metropolitan Division but have played two more games than Carolina), .750 points percentage is tied with Edmonton Oilers for second in NHL (Hurricanes: .775)

Panthers: 14-4-3 (two points behind Toronto Maple Leafs for first in Atlantic Division but have two games in hand), .738 points percentage (fourth in NHL)

Team Leaders

Capitals:

Points: LW Alex Ovechkin, 37 (second in NHL behind Oilers C Leon Draisaitl – 40)

Goals: Ovechkin, 19 (one behind Draisaitl for NHL lead)

Assists: C Evgeny Kuznetsov, 20 (tied for second with Draisaitl and Colorado Avalanche C Nazem Kadri, two behind Oilers C Connor McDavid for NHL lead)

Plus-Minus: D Nick Jensen, +18 (tied with Calgary Flames C Elias Lindholm for NHL lead); Ovechkin and D Dmitry Orlov rank third with +17

Additional Notes: Ovechkin has seven goals and 11 points during five-game point-streak, including hat-trick vs. Panthers on Friday

Panthers:

Points: LW Jonathan Huberdeau, 20

Goals: C Aleksander Barkov/LW Anthony Duclair, nine

Assists: Huberdeau, 13

Plus-Minus: D Aaron Ekblad (+16, tied for fifth); Duclair and D MacKenzie Weegar tied for eighth (+14)

Additional Notes: Huberdeau’s six-game point-streak (four goals, seven points) ended vs. Kraken

Team Stats

Special Teams, Faceoffs and Shots

Possession and Goaltending Metrics

Expected Starting Goalies

Capitals: Ilya Samsonov, 24

* 9-0-1 (tied for eighth in NHL in wins)

* .918 save percentage (tied for 24th)

* 2.27 goals-against average (14th)

* three shutouts (tied for second)

* 1-0-0 with .850 save percentage, 4.21 goals-against average in two games vs. Panthers this season (only starts against FLA in NHL career)

* made 19 saves in Capitals’ 4-3 win vs. Florida on Friday and 30 saves in Capitals’ 4-2 win at Carolina on Sunday, his last start

* Samsonov has started three straight games and six of the Capitals’ past nine

Panthers (confirmed): Sergei Bobrovsky, 33

* 9-1-2 (tied for eighth)

* .936 save percentage (tied for sixth)

* 2.03 goals-against average (ninth)

* 9-13-5, .899 save percentage, 3.01 goals-against average, one shutout in 29 career games vs. WSH

* 0-1-0, .914 save percentage, 2.76 goals-against average in two games vs. Capitals this season

* Bobrovsky and back-up Spencer Knight have appeared in both games vs. WSH this season

Injuries

Capitals

* C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, expected to miss 23rd straight game, week-to-week)

* RW T.J. Oshie (lower-body, fifth/15th in past 16, day-to-day)

* LW Anthony Mantha (shoulder, 13th, indefinite)

* LW Conor Sheary (lower-body, fifth, day-to-day)

* D Justin Schultz (upper-body, third, day-to-day)

Panthers

* Barkov (knee, sixth, week-to-week)

* Duclair (lower-body, third, day-to-day)

* D Gustav Forsling (lower-body, first, week-to-week)

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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3 Responses to Washington at Florida Preview: Capitals Finish Season Set With Florida In Sunrise

  1. Anonymous says:

    The Caps are missing 4 VIP Fs and still in 1st… they dont get much respect!

  2. Anonymous says:

    Tough one, tonight. Florida will be looking for redemption big time. If Caps win tonight you can dispute they are best team in the league (right now)

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