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FHN Today: Florida Panthers in Washington for final time this postseason

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Regardless of what happens tonight, this will be the Florida Panthers final trip to Washington this postseason.

If the Panthers win, they come home and start preparing for the second round.

If they lose, well, see you at FLA Live Arena on Sunday for Game 7.

The Panthers appear to be a confident bunch going into Game 6 after being the first team in this series to win consecutive games — and the first to get to the knock-out round.

The Capitals have either had a late lead or a three-goal lead in each of their past two games only to see the Panthers come back and win those games.

PLAYOFF CENTRAL: For the most complete coverage of the Panthers ANYWHERE, subscribe to FloridaHockeyNow!

“We’ve got to win a hockey game,’’ Washington coach Peter Laviolette said. “There’s things we’ve done well in this series, and there’s things we haven’t done well. (Wednesday) night was no different. We’ve got to take those things that we did well and the positives and bring that for a more consistent amount of time.

“A lot of these guys have been here… everybody’s still feeling last night. I’d mentioned it, the day in-between is the day to kind of get it out of your system, move on and recover. There should be a lot of confidence from the things that we have done well in the series. The games that we have won, the times that we played well.

“But you really have to work for a clean game against a team like Florida, who’s dynamic with what they do. Again, those will be the points of emphasis going forward.”

PANTHERLAND

We have said it before this series but it bears repeating: Sergei Bobrovsky has been flat out terrific for the Florida Panthers in this series.

— Hey, guess who stopped by the Panthers’ locker room to say hello to everyone on Wednesday night? It’s Kodak Black!

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Zac Dalpe gets a hat trick, leads the Charlotte Checkers to a double-OT win against Bridgeport for a 2-0 lead heading back to the Queen City.

— If you missed my story on Carter Verhaeghe from yesterday morning, well, you can still check it out. Game time isn’t for a while.

— Playoff beards are a funky tradition. The Panthers had a head start.

— Don’t forget to check this space around 10:45 for the daily lineup and betting info.

— A lot of content on YouTube from Wednesday including postgame with Verhaeghe, Patric Hornqvist, Sasha Barkov and Andrew Brunette is on the FloridaHockeyNow YouTube channel.

We also have a special pregame with the esteemed Tim Reynolds as well as a postgame extravaganza with Jessica Blaylock and Ed Jovanovski.

Check it out — and if you like what you see on the YouTube page, please subscribe!

CAP CENTER

Laviolette had a lot to say on Thursday including that he was not placing the blame on goalie Ilya Samsonov and that the Caps’ defensive has to do a better job slowing down the “high-octane” Panthers.

— The Capitals have to lean on their experience to get out of their current hole.

— Caps go from in control to being on the brink in Sunrise.

— Washington faces an uphill battle against the Panthers.

— Don’t forget to visit Sammi Silber for the best Washington Capitals coverage around at WashingtonHockeyNow.Com

AROUND THE NHL

The Tampa Bay Lightning trailed in the third period but tied it up and forced overtime — where Brayden Point extended the season.

Now, the Leafs will play host to the Bolts in Game 7 on Saturday night.

We all know what is at stake: The two-time defending Cup champions trying to keep going against a Leafs team desperate for a postseason series win.

Should be a lot of fun.

— The Boston Bruins ain’t dead yet. On Thursday night, the Bs came home and took care of business against the Hurricanes to force Game 7.

The series shifts to Raleigh — where no home team has lost so far.

— The Blues took over the series against the Wild and move on after winning on Thursday.

— The Kings could not finish off the Oilers and now that series heads back to Edmonton for Game 7.

— Jack Eichel finished his first season with the Vegas Golden Knights playing through an injury.

— Troy Stecher was only with the Detroit Red Wings for 17 months and was not a long-term fit in Detroit. In March, he went west for a seventh-round pick and is now enjoying life as a Kings postseason hero.

NHL STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS

ROUND 1

PANTHERS V. CAPITALS (FLA leads 3-2)

  • Game 6: Friday, 7:30 
  • Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.   
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida, TBS
  • Radio: WQAM 560 (Miami/Fort Lauderdale); WMEN 640 (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3 (Florida Keys); SiriusXM 
  • Tickets: CLICK HERE

PANTHERS V. CAPITALS

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Teri Swartz

The Panthers’ final trip to Washington? What about the trip to the White House after they win The Cup?

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