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Florida Panthers Host Washington Capitals: Game 27 Preview

Florida Panthers play one at the Bank-Atlantic Center between road trips, hosting the Washington Capitals tonight at 7:30 P.M.

The Florida Panthers will be hosting the Washington Capitals at the Bank Atlantic Center in Sunrise on Monday night. It is the second of six meetings between the Southeastern Division rivals, and the first of three in Florida. Florida is 5-2-4 at the Bank-Atlantic Center,  while the Capitals bring a 4-7-0 road record into the game. Florida just finished up a four game road trip, going 2-2 with wins in Carolina and San Jose and losses in Los Angeles and Tampa Bay. They will begin another three game road trip following the game, visiting the Boston Bruins on Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres on Friday and the New York Rangers on Sunday before returning home again. The Capitals will be starting a short two game road trip, and continue on to play the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday before returning to the District for a two game homestand.

The teams last met on October 18th in Washington, with the Capitals handing the Panthers their first of two consecutive 3-0 losses, the second to the Buffalo Sabres at Bank Atlantic Center. Florida's loss brought the Panthers to 3-2-0 while the Capitals left Florida with a 5-0-0 record. Marcus Johansson, Alexander Semin and Jason Chimera tallied Washington's goals, beating wunderkind Jacob Markstrom twice on 31 shots. Ex-Florida netminder Tomas Vokoun made 20 saves in the shutout win for the Caps.

Panthers @ Capitals 10/18/11 (via FloridaPanthersNHL)

In Florida's last game, the Panthers took down the San Jose Sharks at the Shark Tank, 5-3 on Saturday night. Scott Clemmensen got his second win of the season in as many starts, making 23 saves in 26 save opportunities. Marco Sturm, Jack Skille and Dmitry Kulikov all scored their second goals of the season while the first line combined for eight points, including goals by Tomas Fleischmann (12) and Stephen Weiss (9).

Panthers Shake Past Sharks, 5-3 (via ESPN)


The Capitals beat the Ottawa Senators in overtime, 3-2 on Saturday In Washington. Niklas Backstrom (9), Troy Brouwer (7) scored for Washington in regulation and Brooks Laich scored his fifth goal of the season 12 seconds into overtime for the victory. Capitals backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth got the win, stopping 32 of 34 shots.

Ottawa Senators vs Washington Capitals Highlights 12/03/11 (via Filimon10S)

Season Series: 0-1-0


All-Time Series: 41-43-15

Game Time: 7:30 EST


Florida Panthers: 14-8-4, 32 points, first SE Division, third Eastern Conference, eighth NHL, on pace for 101 points.

Washington Capitals: 13-11-1, 27 points, second SE Division, eighth Eastern Conference, 19th NHL, on pace for 89 points.


Forwards Matt Bradley, Scottie Upshall and Marcel Goc are all out. Forward Mikail Samuelsson is also listed as out, but may skate tonight against Washington. Florida is keeping Mark Cullen, Bracken Kearns, Evgeni Dadonov and Tim Kennedy on the active roster to combat injury issues.

Probable Starters


Jose Theodore (10-5-3) will likely make the start for Florida, backed up by Clemmensen (2-0-0). Tomas Vokoun (10-7-0) will make the start for Washington, and is backed up by Michal Neuvirth (3-4-1).


1. Fleischmann - Weiss - Versteeg

2. Bergenheim - Matthias - Kopecky

3. Sturm - Santorelli - Skille

4. Kennedy - Kearns - Cullen


1. Campbell - Garrison

2. Jovanovski - Gudbranson

3. Kulikov - Weaver

Common Thread:

Capitals defenseman Dennis Wideman played 61 games for Florida last season, scoring nine goals and 24 assists with a minus-26 rating and 33 penalty minutes.

Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun played four seasons in Florida, compiling a 101-108-30 record with a 2.57 GAA and a .923 save percentage.

Panthers forward Tomas Fleischmann played in 283 games over six seasons with Washington, scoring 60 goals and 78 assists with a minus-11 rating and 84 penalty minutes. He also scored two goals and three assist in 22 playoff games for the club.

Panthers forward Marco Sturm played in 18 games last season for Washington, scoring one goal and six assists with an even rating and six penalty minutes. In nine playoff games he scored one goal and two assists.

Panthers forward Matt Bradley played in 427 games for Washington over six seasons, scoring 37 goals and 59 assists with a minus-10 rating and 367 penalty minutes.

Panthers goaltender Jose Theodore played two seasons in Washington, collecting a 62-24-12 record with a 2.84 GAA and a .905 save percentage.

Team Milestones:

Ed Jovanovski will play in his 279th game as a Panther tonight, moving him into a tie for 21st with Terry Carkner. His next goal will be his 32nd, which will move him into a tie for 32nd with Richard Zednik. His next assist will give him 58 with the Panthers, tying him with Paul Laus, in 30th.

Mike Santorelli's next goal will be number 24 as a Panther, moving him into a tie with Dave Gagner in 45th place all-time. 

Shawn Matthias' next goal will give him 21, moving him into a tie for 47th with Brett McLean.

Dmitry Kulikov will play in his 166th Panthers game tonight, placing him 47th on the all-time list, one behind Brad Ference. His next assist will give him 48 for his career, moving him into a tie for 39th with Keith Ballard.  One more points for Kulikov will move him into the Panthers All-Time Top 50, with 59.

Stephen Weiss is third all-time with 226 assists, three more move him into a tie for second with Robert Svehla.

Team Leaders:


Kris Versteeg, Tomas Fleischmann - 12

Stephen Weiss - 9


Brian Campbell - 18

Stephen Weiss - 17

Kris Versteeg - 16


Kris Versteeg - 28

Tomas Fleischmann - 27

Stephen Weiss - 26


Tomas Fleischmann, Stephen Weiss - plus-14

Kris Versteeg  - plus-13

Photographs by, thelastminute, turtlemom nancy , fesek, kthypryn, justinwright, sue_elias, pointnshoot, and scrapstothefuture used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.