The 0-2-2 Florida Panthers head into the American capital tonight to take on the Capitals. The defending stanley cup champions have started off with a record of 3-2-1.
Capitals: The Capitals have been scoring a lot early on. The Capitals have scored at least 4 goals in 4 of their 6 games. The Capitals beat the Rangers 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday. Braden Holtby starts.
Alex Ovechkin-Evengy Kuznetsov- Chandler Stephenson
Jakub Vrana-Nicklas Backstrom- TJ Oshie
Andre Burakovsky- Lars Eller- Brett Conolly
Dmitri Jaskin- Nic Dowd- Devantae Smith-Pelly
Michael Kempny- John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov- Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik- Christian Djoos
Stats Leaders: Goals- Ovechkin (6) Assists- Backstrom (8) Points- Kuznetsov (10)
Panthers: The Panthers start their first game of a back to back. James Reimer starts after a rocky start to the season. Bob Boughner has spread out his lines as he expects to give his lines even time as the Panthers have to fly to South Florida to play the Red Wings tomorrow night. Despite an impressive comeback from a 5-2 deficit, the Panthers lost in the shootout 6-5 to the Flyers on Tuesday night.
Evengii Dadonov- Aleksander Barkov- Nick Bjugstad
Jonathan Huberdeau-Colton Sceviour-Vincent Trocheck
Frank Vatrano- Jared McCann- Denis Malgin
Mike Hoffman- Juho Lammikko- Troy Brouwer
Keith Yandle- Aaron Ekblad
Mark Pysyk- Alex Petrovic
Mackenzie Weegar- Bogdan Kiselevich
Stats Leaders: Goals- Dadonov/Barkov/Vatrano (2) Assists- Yandle (4) Points- Yandle/Trocheck/Dadonov (4)
Alexander vs Aleksander
Two Alexanders will go up against each other tonight with one spelling his name the usual way and the other going by Aleksander. The two captains Alexander Ovechkin and Aleksander Barkov will face off. Both players lead their teams in goals and are the faces of their teams. Barkov is a defensive dynamo while Ovechkin is one of the greatest shooters in history.
Keys to the Game
Defense- The Panthers need to play well defensively against a high scoring Capitals team. The defense has been problematic for the Panthers all season long.
Even time- The Panthers must distribute ice time evenly with a game against Detroit tomorrow which Boughner seems hard pressed to win against the 0-5-2 Red Wings.
Line by Line Matchup
Line 1- Washington
Line 2- Washington
Line 3- Washington
Line 4- Florida
Backup Goalie- Florida
Florida: James Reimer is 0-2-1 in 3 games this season with an .885 Save Percentage and a 3.62 GAA. Reimer in his career against the Capitals is 4-4-2 in 10 games with a .937 save percentage, a 2.16 GAA and a shutout.
Washington: Braden Holtby is 3-1-1 this season with an .898 save percentage, a 3.18 GAA and a shutout. In his career against the Panthers, Holtby is 10-2-1 with a .920 Save Percentage, a 2.36 GAA and a shutout.
Florida: Michael Hutchinson is 0-0-1 in a game this year with an .808 Save percentage and a 4.62 GAA. However that was mainly due to a defensive meltdown on the Pantehrs part as all goals scored on him were in my opinion near impossible to save. In his career against the Capitals, he is 0-1-1 with an .864 Save percentage and a 4.46 GAA.
Washington: Pheonix Copley is 0-1-0 in one game this year with an .833 Save Percentage and a 6.03 GAA. Copley has never played the Panthers in his career.