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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 league.

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 five.

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

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