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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, November 19th (All times eastern)

Florida Panthers (8-12-1) at Washington Capitals (6-12-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - A pair of struggling Southeast Division clubs meet tonight in the nation's capital, as the Washington Capitals host the Florida Panthers at the Verizon Center.

The Capitals have been dreadful since opening the season with three straight victories. Washington is just 3-12-1 in its last 16 games and has dropped each of its last three outings. The Caps are dead last in the NHL with just 13 points on the season.

Washington's latest setback came Saturday night in Tampa. Brad Richards, Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis each tallied a goal and two assists as the Lightning breezed past the Caps, 5-2.

Alexander Ovechkin and Brooks Laich each scored a goal while Brent Johnson made 19 saves in the loss for the Capitals, who have also dropped seven of their last eight contests.

Not surprisingly, Ovechkin has been the main source of offense for Washington. The 22-year-old Russian winger leads the Capitals in both goals (13) and points (21) this season. Ovechkin has eight more goals than Michael Nylander, the second-leading goal-scorer for Washington.

Washington is expected to have left wing Alexander Semin back in the lineup tonight after the youngster missed the last nine games with an ankle injury. Semin had 38 goals and 73 points for Washington last season, but has notched just one assist in four games this year.

The Capitals were just defeated by the Panthers in Florida on Thursday evening. By taking the opener of the season series, the Panthers have won six of seven and 14 of the last 18 meetings with Washington.

However, the recent victory over Washington represents the Panthers' only victory in their last six games (1-4-1).

Florida played Saturday night in Carolina and was handed a close loss. Rod Brind'Amour scored twice and the Hurricanes edged the Panthers, 2-1, at the RBC Center.

Nathan Horton had the lone goal for the Panthers, who have also lost six of their last eight contests (2-5-1). Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves in the loss.

Tonight's test marks the middle portion of a three-game road trip for the Panthers. Florida, which is just 2-8-1 as the visitor this season, will complete this trek Wednesday night in Columbus.

11/19 10:26:12 ET

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