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In Thick of Playoff Race, Florida Panthers visit Slumping Capitals

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The Florida Panthers take their playoff chase on the road for the final time this regular season as they visit the Washington Capitals tonight.

The team hopes to be back on the road — either in Raleigh, Newark or Boston — later this month.

There are three games left in the 2022-23 campaign and, with no games on the schedule Friday, Florida remains tied with the New York Islanders for the top wild card spot and a point up on the Pittsburgh Penguins.

All three teams are in action today.

The Panthers cannot afford to lose to the Capitals tonight.

Washington, which has lost its past five games, is going to miss the playoffs for the first time since the old Southeast Division days and there could be some changes there this offseason.

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The Capitals have not looked good lately and the Panthers cannot let them off the mat.

Washington usually gives the Panthers trouble even if Florida has won the past five straight including Games 4-6 of last year’s opening round playoff series. Both Florida wins this season were one-goal games late in the third.

Alex Lyon will be back in net for Florida as he attempts to win his sixth consecutive start.

FLORIDA HOCKEY NOW

It has been just over a week since Keith Tkachuk called the Panthers a ‘soft team’ that was ‘getting everything it deserved.’

Is it a coincidence that the Panthers have looked a lot tougher — and have not lost since?

We spoke to a couple of folks about it (including Matthew Tkachuk, Radko Gudas and Paul Maurice).

  • How good has Alex Lyon been for the Panthers? As we said last week, he has saved Florida’s season. He’ll be back in net tonight.
  • The Panthers found themselves on the wrong end of a 6-on-3 power play Tuesday as Anton Lundell and Aaron Ekblad sat in the penalty box. Fortunately for the Panthers, Buffalo only had this three-skater advantage for 12.2 seconds.
  • Anthony Duclair has not been able to find the back of the net since he scored that empty net goal upon his return. He has been struggling offensively, but Duclair is doing a lot of good things for the Panthersas well.
  • The boys from Panther Pourri are back as they discuss the team coming back from the dead. Check out the podcast RIGHT HERE
  • Video from Maurice, Lyon, Tkachuk and Sasha Barkov following the win against the Sens is up on the FHN YouTube Channel.
  • You can click the embedded videos below or click RIGHT HERE to see everything all in one place. If you hit subscribe (it’s free), you will know when new content comes up.

NATIONAL HOCKEY NOW

The Boston Bruins could be a little shorthanded this weekend as they play the Devils and Flyers as both David Krejci and Charlie McAvoy are expected to sit out with injury concerns.

  • The Pittsburgh Penguins brought up Alex Nylander from the AHL on Friday. The Pens are in Detroit this afternoon. Tune in.
  • For the seventh consecutive season, the Detroit Red Wings will be out of the playoffs. That ties an old ‘Dead Wings’ mark from the 1970s. Relax, Wings fans. This team is going to be good very soon.
  • The Calgary Flames have three games left — Vancouver, Nashville and San Jose — to make the playoffs.
  • Which matchups are best for the Vegas Golden Knights?
  • Here are the five top goals (of the 50) scored by Mikko Rantanen this season.
  • San Jose Sharks prospect Danil Guschin played five games in six nights this past week.

PANTHERS ON DECK

 FLORIDA PANTHERS AT WASHINGTON CAPITALS

  • When: Saturday, 7 p.m.
  • Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C.
  • TV/Streaming: Bally Sports Florida/Sun; ESPN+
  • Radio: WPOW 96.5-FM2; WBZT 1230-AM (Palm Beach); WCTH 100.3-FM (Florida Keys); SiriusXM
  • Panthers Radio Streaming: SiriusXM 932
  • Last season: Panthers won 2-1 (d. Capitals 4-2 in first round)
  • This season (Florida leads 2-0): Panthers 5, Capitals 2 (Nov. 15); Panthers 6, Capitals 3 (Feb. 16)
  • All-time regular season series: Washington leads 67-45-12, 9 ties
  • Up Next for the Panthers: Monday, Toronto Maple Leafs at Florida, 7 p.m.

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