NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, February 15th (All times eastern)
Washington Capitals (35-16-5) at Florida Panthers (28-19-8), 5 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Florida Panthers will aim for their fourth consecutive victory when they welcome the Washington Capitals for today's Southeast Division encounter at BankAtlantic Center.
The Panthers are second in the division and come into today's game with 64 points -- 11 points behind the first-place Capitals. Florida is also tied with Buffalo for the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
Florida tied a season-high with its third straight win Friday night over the visiting New York Rangers. The Panthers' last won four in a row during a seven-game winning streak from March 2-16 of last season.
The Panthers began a five-game homestand by beating the Rangers in a shootout. Richard Zednik scored the lone shootout goal, providing Florida with a thrilling 2-1 win over the Blueshirts.
Michael Frolik scored early in the second period and Tomas Vokoun made 34 saves for the Panthers, who have also won seven of their last nine. They've posted a 12-3-3 mark since January 1.
The Panthers are 15-6-5 as the host this year and have won five straight on home ice.
Washington, meanwhile, has gone 5-1-1 in its last seven games and is coming off Saturday's easy win in Tampa. Mike Green scored a goal to set a new record for defensemen and help the Capitals skate to a 5-1 win over the Lightning at St. Pete Times Forum.
In the second period while on the power play, Alexander Semin fed Green the puck in the slot. Green's initial shot was blocked by Matt Pettinger, but the puck went right back to Green and his second chance got past Karri Ramo at the 5:33 mark of the second.
With the goal, the 23-year-old Green scored for the eighth straight game to break a record for blueliners set by Boston's Mike O'Connell during the 1983-84 campaign.
Green has compiled 10 tallies and seven assists over that span and also leads all NHL blueliners in goals (22) and points (50) this season.
Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 38th goal of the season while Semin had a goal and two assists for the Capitals. Michal Neuvirth, making his NHL debut, stopped 31 shots in the win.
Ovechkin has recorded a point in eight straight games, notching seven goals and five assists during the run.
Today's test marks the end of a three-game road trip for the Caps, who will kick off a five-game homestand Wednesday against Montreal. Washington is 13-12-4 as the visiting team this year and has won two of its last three on the road.
Florida and the Caps have split a pair of meetings this year, but today's test is the first matchup in Florida. Washington has taken three of four and five of the last seven encounters between the clubs, but has dropped five of seven in Sunrise.
02/15 10:40:09 ET