NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, February 1st
(All times eastern)
Washington Capitals (21-23-7) at Florida Panthers (19-23-10), 7:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The two bottom teams in the Southeast Division will face
off tonight at the BankAtlantic Center, where the Florida Panthers entertain
Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.
These two clubs are currently separated by a point in the Southeast standings,
with the Capitals sitting in fourth place with 49 points and the Panthers
having compiled 48 thus far.
Each team is also coming off a loss in its most recent outing. Washington was
edged at Ottawa by a 3-2 count on Tuesday, the same night Florida was dealt a
3-0 road defeat to Pittsburgh.
Ovechkin had one of the two Washington goals to extend his scoring streak to a
career-best 12 games. The second-year sensation has racked up 19 points (7
goals, 12 assists) during the tear.
The reigning Calder Trophy winner presently leads the NHL with 32 goals, while
his 69 points trail only fellow phenom Sidney Crosby for the most in the
Donald Brashear also scored for the Capitals and Olaf Kolzig made 35 saves in
the loss, Washington's third in four games.
The Caps will be playing the middle test of a three-game road trip tonight.
The club is just 9-12-4 away from home on the season and has dropped eight of
its last nine as the visitor.
Florida was done in by a stellar performance from Pittsburgh goaltender Marc-
Andre Fleury, who turned away all 32 shots he faced in Tuesday's triumph.
Ed Belfour saved 22-of-25 chances for the Panthers, who have lost three of
Florida defeated the Capitals twice last month, including a 4-1 victory in
Washington on January 20 in the final game for both teams before the All-Star
break. In the Caps' last visit to the BankAtlantic Center, the Panthers
cruised to a 7-3 win on January 13.
The Panthers have won 10 of the last 13 meetings in this series.
02/01 10:32:06 ET