The Capitals enter tonight’s home finale in a tight divisional battle with two games left in the regular season. The Panthers hold a four-point lead over the Caps in the Southeast Division standings. A regulation loss or overtime win/loss will deny the Caps the division title for the first time since 2007 when the Atlanta Thrashers put up 97 points on the season.
Washington is currently in 8th in the Eastern Conference and holds the tiebreaker over the Buffalo Sabres, who are on their heels in the 9th spot. A win by the Capitals and a regulation loss by Buffalo tonight will clinch a playoff berth for Washington.
The Capitals lead the season series against Florida 3-2 and outscored the Panthers 7-0 in Florida’s two visits to Verizon Center this season. Former Capital Tomas Fleischmann has been on a tear as of late, tallying five points in the last four games for Florida.
After being named the NHL’s ‘Third Star’ of the Week for the week ending March 25th, Alex Ovechkin has been quiet the past four games, with his only points having come through his two assists in Boston one week ago.
1st Period Overview:
- Jose Theodore and Tomas Fleishcmann are in the Panthers starting lineup tonight.
- The Panthers broadcast called Fleischmann the player to watch for Florida tonight. I agree.
- Jay Beagle puts the Caps on the board. 1-0 lead 5:42 into the 1st period. Troy Brouwer and Matt Hendricks get assists on the goal.
- A marriage proposal here at Verizon Center. She said yes.
- Stephen Weiss gets two minutes for holding. Caps on the power play.
- Scary series of events in front of Michal Neuvirth. He manages to pull the puck in and get a faceoff going.
- Matt Hendricks sent to the penalty box for interference at the 15:20 mark.
- Caps lead the Panthers 1-0 after one period.
Total Faceoffs Won: FLA – 9 WAS – 13
Total Hits: FLA – 10 WAS – 14
Total Shots on Goal: FLA – 10 WAS – 8
Total Goals: FLA – 0 WAS – 1
2nd Period Overview:
- Marco Sturm fell on Neuvy’s knee. Braden Holtby’s about to come in.
- Holtby enters the net to a loud ovation and a light “Holtby! Holtby!” chant.
- Hell of a series of hits between both teams. The game getting very physical all of a sudden.
- Ovi scores, Verizon Center erupts. 2-0
- “Theodooooorrrrre” chants have started in the upper deck of the arena.
- Brooks Laich puts the #Caps up 3-0 at the 9:49 mark in the period.
- Theodore is take out of the game and replaced by Scott Clemmensen.
- Just kidding. Theodore is back out on the ice.
- Michelle Kwan is in attendance here tonight.
- I don’t know how there wasn’t a hooking or tripping on Ovechkin there.
- Just a couple minutes after Buffalo scores on the Flyers, the Panthers score on the Caps. Here comes that feeling again.
Total Faceoffs Won: FLA – 21 WAS – 20
Total Hits: FLA – 16 WAS – 30
Total Shots on Goal: FLA – 21 WAS – 18
Total Goals: FLA – 1 WAS – 3
3rd Period Overview:
- The Panthers score 42 seconds into the period thanks to Ed Jovanovski.
- Caps heading to the Power Play with 3:06 to go.
- Unleash the Fury time here at Verizon Center.
- Caps can clinch a playoff berth with a win.
- Semin seals it. 4-2 Caps.
Total Faceoffs Won: FLA – 32 WAS – 29
Total Hits: FLA – 23 WAS – 40
Total Shots on Goal: FLA – 27 WAS – 24
Total Goals: FLA – 2 WAS – 4
Tags: Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin, Atlanta Thrashers, Braden Holtby, Brooks Laich, Buffalo Sabres, Ed Jovanovski, Florida Panthers, Jay Beagle, Jose Theodore, Marco Sturm, Matt Hendricks, Michal Neuvirth, Michelle Kwan, Philadelphia Flyers, Scott Clemmensen, Stephen Weiss, Tomas Fleischmann, Troy Brouwer, Washington Capitals