Washington Capitals Visit Florida Panthers: Game 49 Preview

SUNRISE, FL - DECEMBER 5: Goaltender Scott Clemmensen #30 of the Florida Panthers stops a shot by Nicklas Backstrom #19 of the Washington Capitals as Jason Garrison #52 controls the rebound on December 5, 2011 at the BankAtlantic Center in Sunrise, Florida. The Panthers defeated the Capitals 5-4. (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Old friends Dennis Wideman and Tomas Vokoun visit the Cats tonight in Sunrise. Can the Panthers skate out of the break with a win against an Ovechkin-less Washington squad?

Florida will be hosting the Washington Capitals tonight at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise. This is the third meeting this season of six between the divisional rivals, and the second of three played in Florida. The Panthers are 11-5-7 at home, while Washington owns a 8-13-2 road record. For Florida, this is the second game of a three game homestand. Prior to the All-Star Game, they dropped a 3-2 overtime matchup to the Philadelphia Flyers, and go on to host the Winnipeg Jets on Friday before hitting the road for a short divisional roadtrip against the Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Caps are playing the second game of a three game roadtrip. They faced the Tampa Bay Lightning last night and face the Montreal Canadians on Saturday before returning home for three games, against the Boston Bruins, the Panthers and the Jets.

The teams last met on December 5th in Sunrise, with Florida skating off with a 5-4 regulation victory. Stephen Weiss, Dmitry Kulikov, and Sean Bergenheim each scored power play goals, while All-Star Brian Campbell collected three assists. Kulikov also added two assists on the night. Scott Clemmensen earned the victory by stopping 28 of 32 shots. Jason Chimera, Cody Eakin, Mike Knuble and Brooks Laich scored in the losing effort for Washington, while Michal Neuvirth allowed five goals on 30 shots.

Capitals @ Panthers 12/05/11 (via NHLVideo)

Florida dropped a 3-2 overtime decision to the Philadelphia Flyers last Tuesday. Tomas Fleischmann scored his first goal in nine games and Stephen Weiss had two assists on the night. Scott Clemmensen allowed two goals on 37 shots to take the loss. Jakub Voracek and Brayden Schenn scored for the Flyers in regulation, and Claude Giroux added the shootout winner in the second round. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 25 of 27 shots for the win.

Flyers @ Panthers 01/24/12 (via NHLVideo)

Washington is coming off an overtime road loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning last night, 4-3. Matt Hendricks, Mathieu Perrault and Troy Brouwer scored for the Capitals in the loss, as Tomas Vokoun allowed four goals on 31 shots.

Season Series: 1-1-0

All-Time Series: 42-43-15

Game Time: 8:00 EST

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Standings:

Florida Panthers: 22-15-11, 55 points, second Southeast Division, seventh Eastern Conference, 14th NHL, on pace for 94 points.

Washington Capitals: 26-19-4, 56 points, first Southeast Division, third Eastern Conference, 13th NHL, on pace for 94 points.

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