The Florida Panthers go into their game Friday evening against the host Washington Capitals riding a four-game winning streak — although the team has lost its past four games away from Sunrise.
The Panthers went 0-2-2 on their previous road trip but got their mojo back on a four-game homestand in which they outscored their opponents 17-7.
Florida is expected to get at least a little more pushback from a Washington team which has won three of four and seven of the past nine.
The Capitals, who lost to the Panthers 5-4 in overtime on Nov. 3 at FLA Live Arena, are 6-1-3 on home ice this season and are outscoring their opponents 37-22.
“They are deadly. They are dangerous, obviously,” coach Andrew Brunette said on Thursday. “They have one of the greatest scorers of all-time on their team and they closed on us pretty fast last game. I don’t think we managed the puck in our zone as well as we could. They’re a good team. Their record speaks for itself.”
When asked who would start in net Friday, Brunette would not say, adding he needed to speak with goalie coach Robb Tallas.
In the past, when Brunette has used that exact language, that has meant Spencer Knight.
We will see.
With the late flight Thursday and early start time Friday, Florida may just want to rest Sergei Bobrovsky and have him go against (likely) Seattle starter Chris Driedger in his return to Sunrise on Saturday night.
Bobrovsky is 1-0 against the Capitals this season but 9-12-5 against them over the course of his career. He went 0-1-1 against Washington in his first season with the Panthers in 2019-20.
FLORIDA PANTHERS ON DECK
FLORIDA PANTHERS AT WASHINGTON CAPITALS
- WHEN: Friday, 5 p.m.
- WHERE: Capital One Arena, Washington
- TV/STREAMING: Bally Sports Florida
- RADIO: WQAM 560
- Last season: Did not play
- This season: @Florida 5, Washington 4 (OT), Nov. 4
- All-time regular season series: Washington leads 66-43-11, 9 ties
- Odds via BetMGM: Washington (PL -1.5 +200) — (ML -115) — U/O 6
- Up next: Seattle at Florida, Saturday, 6; Washington at Carolina, Sunday, 1
PROJECTED FLORIDA PANTHERS LINEUP
11 Jonathan Huberdeau // 9 Sam Bennett // 10 Anthony Duclair
23 Carter Verhaeghe // 15 Anton Lundell // 13 Sam Reinhart
77 Frank Vatrano // 19 Joe Thornton // 74 Owen Tippett
94 Ryan Lomberg // 27 Eetu Luostarinen // 70 Patric Hornqvist
52 MacKenzie Weegar // 5 Aaron Ekblad
42 Gus Forsling // 7 Radko Gudas
62 Brandon Montour // 32 Lucas Carlsson
30 Spencer Knight
72 Sergei Bobrovsky
Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Maxim Mamin
Injured: Noel Acciari (IR), Olli Juolevi (IR), Markus Nutivaara (IR), Mason Marchment (IR), Sasha Barkov
PROJECTED WASHINGTON CAPITALS LINEUP
8 Alex Ovechkin // 92 Evgeny Kuznetsov // 59 Aliaksei Protas
10 Daniel Sprong // 24 Connor McMichael // 43 Tom Wilson
62 Carl Hagelin // 26 Nic Dowd // 21 Garnet Hathaway
47 Beck Malenstyn // 23 Michael Sgarbossa // 49 Brett Leason
42 Martin Fehervary // 74 John Carlson
9 Dmitri Orlov // 3 Nick Jensen
57 Trevor van Riemsdyk // 2 Justin Schultz
30 Ilya Samsonov
41 Vitek Vanecek