Florida takes on Washington on Saturday night in an Eastern Conference matchup from Capital One Arena. The Caps are fourth in the Eastern Conference, while Florida is out of the playoffs at 13th. These teams have not met since Oct. 18, whe the Panthers won the game in a shootout, 6-5.
Panthers getting closer to the playoff picture
Florida has won five of their last seven games, including a 3-2 overtime win over Pittsburgh on Thursday at home. At 52 points, they are 11 away from Pittsburgh, who has 63 points and is eight.
In their win over the Pens, defenseman Mike Mathewson scored in overtime to give the Panthers the win. RW Evegenii Dadonov add a power-play goal to break an eight-game goal drought to reach 19 goals. Captina Aleksander Barkov leads the team with 52 poitns and has two goals and six assists ove rhis last fie games.
Goaltender Roberto Luongo is expected to take the next. He has a goals against average of 3.11 and a save percentage of 0.897 (11-12-0-1 record). Florida ranks 29th in goals against wiht 3.4 per game and 12th in the penalty kill (81.1%). They rank fourth in shots at 33.4 per game, third in the power play (27%) and 13th in goals per game (3.1).
The defense is back?
Washington has played much better defense since the All-Star break. They ended the break allowing 21 goals in their last three games. Since the break, they’ve allowed nine goals in four games, which isn’t great but lot better than allowing 7.0 per game over three or 36 goals in a seven-game losing streak. In their win over Colorado on Thursday night, they blew a 3-1 lead late in regulation and had to win 4-3 in overtime. to given three wins in four contests. Center Evegeni Kuznetsov led the Caps with two goals including the break-away game-winner in overtime.
Kuznetsov has 10 poitns in his last six contests and 48 on the season. Alex Ovechkin leads the way with 60 points and a league-high 37 goals. Forward T.J. Oshie adds 10 points in his past seven games.
On the season, Washington is averaging 3.3 goals per game (8th) and ranks 12th on the power play (21.1%). Their Achilles’ heel right now is their face-off percentage, which ranks 31st in the league (46.2%). On defense, they allow 3.1 goals per game (21st) on 32.4 shots (21st) and 23rd on the penalty kill (78.4%).
- 21-6 last 27 Saturday games.
- 16-5 last 21 after a win.
- 5-2 Over last 7 overall.
- 1-6 last 7 road games.
- 2-8 last 10 as a road dog of +110 to +150