We’re in store for another battle of the backups between Scott Clemmensen and Michal Neuvirth tonight as the Caps and Cats take the ice. Each team is skating shorthanded, as Panthers first line winger Kris Versteeg is out with the flu, and Caps would-be all-star Alex Ovechkin is serving a three game suspension.
After last night’s action, the Panthers sit on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture, at ninth. With a victory tonight, the Panthers will vault back into third, but a loss will set them even further back.
Alexanders Semin would test Clemmensen just a minute and a half into the game with a breakaway on the glove side which he easily kicked aside. The Panthers would answer with two shots on the ensuing trip down the ice.
The teams traded chances through the first half of the period, with the Caps taking nine shots to the Panthers eight in the first 10:22, but neither team was having any success against the opposing netminders.
The Panther’s drew the first power play of the night with five minutes remaining when Jason Chimera was called for high sticking John Madden. The Caps cleared the puck out a total of three times and the Panthers put the puck on goal four times, including two one-timers by Jason Garrison. The Capitals managed to kill it off without further incident.
Jeff Halpern nearly scored as he beat Clemmensen but lost to the goal post with about 20 seconds left in the period, the teams took the dressing room in a scoreless tie.
Hits: Capitals, 13-3
Blocked Shots: Capitals, 6-3
Faceoffs: Panthers, 8-6
Shots on Goal: Panthers, 15-11
Score: Panthers 0, Capitals 0