The division leading Washington Capitals host the Florida Panthers tonight. The Caps, led by some guy named Ovechkin, are a tough team to beat at home. They have lost just 5 games in their own barn. The good news is that one of those losses came to the Panthers back in December.
While Washington does have a 12 point lead in the division, Florida has chances to make it a race. For some reason, the Caps and Cats have avoided each other for the first 4 months of the season, playing only once so far. This means there are 5 more meetings between the two teams from now until the end of the year. While it would be a stretch to hope for a 5-0-0 mark for Florida, they can at least gain ground and keep the Caps within sight.
These two teams are playing an almost complete opposite style of hockey. Florida is one of just three teams in the east that does not have a 40 point scorer. Washington has Alex Ovechkin, who has 37 goals. What Florida does have is a roster full of guys who contribute. There are 11 Panthers who have 20+ points, and Richard Zednik needs just one more to make it 12. The Capitals have just 8 players at the 20 point mark. But when 4 of those 8 are above the 40 point plateau, it doesn't really matter. It will be up to Florida to shut down the top 2 lines and finish the chances they get. In any event, it should be another high paced, action packed game, as both teams love to use their speed. Puck drops at 7:00 from the Phone Booth in D.C.