Playing in the second of back-to-back games, the Washington Capitals looked out of gas on Wednesday night, the Florida Panthers took full advantage.
Florida used three third period tallies to break a 1-1 tie after two periods to take the battle for first place in the Southeast 4-2 over Washington on Wednesday night in Sunrise.
Mikael Samuelsson scored twice for the Panthers, who took a one-point lead over the visiting Capitals in the division. Stephen Weiss added a third period and Shawn Matthias' empty net goal capped the evening for the surprising Panthers.
Despite playing the previous night into overtime in Tampa Bay, the Caps had a chance t...
Tonight, when the puck drops for the Blackhawks vs. the Panthers, the last of the players who was traded away (and still plays in the NHL) who helped earn the Stanley Cup banner that hangs in the rafters will get their first turn at playing under it.
Kris Versteeg was a popular player while in Chicago, but the post-Cup salary cap purge sent him to Toronto. From there, he would be traded to Philadelphia, and then on to Florida. He was the last of the Cup winners to play against the Blackhawks and had to wait until this season to do it - a November 3 Chicago shootout win at Sunrise. And particularly in light of his current season, where he is one of the Panthers'...
The Montreal Canadiens finish up a six-game road trip in Sunrise, Florida tonight as they face the Panthers in the BankAtlantic Center. This road-trip has been a miserable one for the Canadiens, as they have dropped four out of five games so far. Tonight they will try to end 2011 with a win, something that hasn't come easy to them this season.
In seasons past, this game might be an easy win for the Canadiens, but not this year. This year, the Canadiens (14-17-7) have been around the bottom of the Eastern Conference for the majority of the season. Meanw...
It wasn't news to anyone that the NHL would be setting up a new realignment plan for the 2012-2013 season. Plenty of speculation went into this idea as to how it would effect the current Eastern and Western Conferences. The Winnipeg Jets, although presently in the East, seemed to be a team that would make much more sense in the West. Rumors began to run that the Detroit Red Wings would move to the Eastern Conference, or even quite possibly the Nashville Predators.
The bigger question, and one that still looms over the hearts of many fans out in the desert, is whether or not the Phoenix Coyotes will still be in any Conference next year. They are currently in what seems to be the final year of their lease agreement after almost being relocated this past summer. There's still a good possibility that they might be relocated in the near future as well, but all of that remains in limbo as the 2012 season moves forward.
However, the NHL and it's Board of Governors could not wait to see what happens in Phoenix and passed a very dramatic change to the current alignment. The Eastern and Western Conferences will ultimately be removed next year; the standard two conferences that consist of 15 teams will become four conferences with either seven or eight teams in each one.
The Caps were listless in the first 40 minutes in South Florida, but woke up just in time to give the home-standing Panthers a scare on Monday night.
The Panthers jumped all over Dale Hunter and the visiting Caps with a three-goal spree in the first period on goals by Stephen Weiss, Mike Santorelli and Dmitry Kulikov. Mike Knuble answered late in the first for the Caps to make it 3-1 'Cats at the end of the first.
Michal Neuvirth, getting the start in place of ex-Panther Tomas Vokoun, wasn't very good. He allowed three goals on 11 shots in the first, including a softy to Santorelli, but didn't get much help from the team in front of him eith...
Three games into the Dale Hunter era, the Capitals are 1-2-0. But it's easy to look too hard at the numbers and not the on-ice product so far in Hunter's tenure.
The Caps have been forechecking more aggressively than they ever did under former coach Bruce Boudreau. They have worked on Hunter's system that involves limiting odd-man rushes and using the walls to create them the other way. The goaltending has stabilized, the defense is improving.
These are all good things. All things to build on going forward rather than fretting over the record. Regardless, Hunter's system will take time for the Caps to adjust and adapt to.
You are 18-years-old. You have just completed the best hockey season of your entire life – racing up draft boards from a low-mid round pick into a projected mid first round pick. It is an incredibly exciting night, as you sit there with your family waiting and hoping to hear your name called.
You watch as commissioner Gary Bettman announces the Islanders trading down 2 picks. Then trading down 2 more picks. The Islanders staff takes the stage ready to announce their ninth overall pick, and you are still not thinking too much of it.