Preview: Washington Finishes Homestand vs. Florida

Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals host the Florida Panthers on Thursday for the first time since Florida eliminated Washington in Game 6 of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoff first-round series last May. Florida also took the first meeting of this season between the two teams by a score of 5-2 at FLA Live Arena on November 15. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market.


Florida: continue four-game road trip after splitting the first two games of it, most recently a 6-2 loss to the St. Louis Blues on Tuesday

Washington: conclude three-game homestand but continue stretch where they play six of seven at Capital One Arena, which they have lost their first two of in regulation after a 3-2 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday


Florida: 27-23-7/.535 points percentage – fourth in Atlantic Division (but sixth in points percentage), 10th in Eastern Conference (12th); 12-16-3 on road (22nd in NHL)

Washington: 28-22-6/.554 points percentage – fifth in Metropolitan Division, eighth in Eastern Conference; 14-10-3 at home (15th)


Florida: 23-23-5 since 4-1-1 start to season, including two regulation losses in their last three since a three-game winning-streak ended

Washington: has lost nine of last 15 since 15-3-3 stretch



  • C Carter Verhaeghe (29 goals)
  • LW Matthew Tkachuk (48 assists, 75 points)
  • D Brandon Montour (24:17 TOI/game)

Notes: Tkachuk, 24, leads the NHL in assists (22) and points (32) in 19 games since January 2 and has at least 26 more points than any of his teammates this season; Verhaeghe, 27, snapped a three-game scoring drought with a goal and an assist in St. Louis; Montour, 28, snapped a three-game scoring drought with an assist in St. Louis and has career-highs in goals (10), assists (35), and points (45) in just 55 games this season; C Aleksander Barkov has just one goal in his last four since an 11-game point-streak (12 assists, 17 points) ended; D Gustav Forsling has just one assist in his last nine; C Eetu Luostarinen has three goals, five points in his last five, including goals in back-to-back games; D Aaron Ekblad has just one assist in his last four


Notes: C Dylan Strome has been held scoreless in six straight; LW Conor Sheary has just two assists, three points in last 16; C Lars Eller has just one assist in his last 16; LW Anthony Mantha has just one assist in his last 10, including none in his last five; D Erik Gustafsson has three assists in his last four; D Nick Jensen tallied a -6 rating in last 17 games; LW Sonny Milano has just two assists, three points in last 14, including none over last five; D Trevor Van Riemsdyk has two goals, four points in last four; LW Joe Snively tallied a goal and assist vs. Carolina in his first game since December 31


Goals-per-game:                 FLA – 3.4 (7th)             WSH – 3.04 (20th)

Goals-against per game:   FLA – 3.44 (23rd)        WSH – 2.82 (11th)

Power Play:                          FLA – 22.1% (T-15th)  WSH – 19.9% (T-21st)

Penalty Kill:                         FLA – 75.6% (T-24th)  WSH – 81.2% (9th)

Shots-per-game:                 FLA – 36.1 (1st)            WSH – 31.6 (17th)

Shots-against per game:   FLA – 32.5 (24th)        WSH – 30.2 (T-9th)

Faceoff-winning %:           FLA – 48.6% (23rd)     WSH – 49.7% (18th)

5v5 Corsi-for %:                 FLA – 53.44% (4th)      WSH – 50.87% (16th)

5v5 x Goals-For %:            FLA – 53.12% (7th)       WSH – 51.3% (15th)

5v5 SCF %:                          FLA – 54.1% (4th)         WSH – 50.87% (17th)

5v5 Shooting %:                 FLA – 8.25% (18th)      WSH – 8.14% (20th)

5v5 Save %:                         FLA – .9163 (18th)        WSH – .9182 (14th)

5v5 PDO:                             FLA – .999 (T-16th)      WSH – 1 (T-14th)


Florida: Sergei Bobrovsky, 34 — 15-14-2, .905 save percentage, 3.05 goals-against average, one shutout in 34 games this season; 11-13-5, .900 save percentage, 3.01 goals-against average, shutout in 31 career regular-season games vs. Washington, including a 41-save (.953 save percentage) performance in November

Washington: Darcy Kuemper, 32 — 16-15-4, .915 save percentage (14th), 2.59 goals-against average (14th), five shutouts (T-1st) in 36 games; 3-4-0, .918 save percentage, 2.62 goals-against average, one shutout in eight career games against Florida, including a 38-save (.905) outing four months ago



  • RW Anthony Duclair (Achilles, will miss 58th straight game, out indefinitely)
  • RW Patric Hornqvist (concussion, 33rd, indefinite)
  • C Sam Bennett (undisclosed, first, day-to-day)


  • Carlson (upper-body, 21st, indefinite)
  • Ovechkin (death of father, second, day-to-day)
  • RW Connor Brown (ACL, 53rd, indefinite)
  • LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 57th, indefinite)
  • C Nic Dowd (lower-body, 11th, indefinite)



Anton Lundell — Barkov — Sam Reinhart
Verhaeghe — Chris Tierney — Tkachuk
Ryan Lomberg — Luostarinen — Gregorio Denisenko
Nick Cousins — Eric Staal — Givani Smith

Forsling — Ekblad
Marc Staal — Montour
Josh Mahura — Radko Gudas

Spencer Knight

Scratched: D Casey Fitzgerald


Sheary — Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano — Nicklas Backstrom — Marcus Johansson
Snively — Dylan Strome — T.J. Oshie
Nicolas Aube-Kubel — Lars Eller — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Martin Fehervary

Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: Eller, D Dylan McIlrath, D Alexander Alexeyev, C Aliaksei Protas

* Washington will have to make a roster move before puck drop after McIlrath was recalled from the AHL’s Hershey Bears on Wednesday

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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5 Responses to Preview: Washington Finishes Homestand vs. Florida

  1. Anonymous says:

    4 point game.

  2. jbsets says:

    How will Mojo play both rw and c?

    • hockeydruid says:

      Mirrors and maybe just to scare Fla they also have Ovie projected onto the ice at certain times. Or maybe they think that double shifting MoJo all game is better than playing Eller at all. But seriously I would think that Mantha plays RW on the 2nd line as he is not a scratch and has not been traded…..yet. Who gets sent down or put on IR before gametime…..Protas or does Eller finally get traded along with Mantha.

    • KimRB says:

      They’ll use the Hershey “two puck” method. There was a Hershey game not long ago, where Shepard made a save, and there was already a puck in the net, probably from earlier, when it was on top of the net, and not retrieved. I hear the Caps are experimenting with two pucks, so Ovi can get to 895 faster

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