|10/31/15 – 7:00 PM ET||1st||2nd||3rd||Total|
|@ Panthers (5-4-1)||0|
At A Glance
Top 5 Scorers
|1. Jaromir Jagr||6||4||10|
|2. Vincent Trocheck||4||5||9|
|3. Reilly Smith||4||3||7|
|4. Nick Bjugstad||4||3||7|
|5. Jussi Jokinen||2||4||5|
|1. Evgeny Kuznetsov||4||8||12|
|2. Alex Ovechkin||5||5||10|
|3. John Carlson||2||8||10|
|4. Nicklas Backstrom||4||3||7|
|5. T.J. Oshie||3||4||7|
Expected Starting Goaltenders
Between the Lines
The Panthers will play their second game of a back-to-back series and final game of their 3-game homestand after losing last night to the Bruins by a score of 3-1. The loss was not the result of a lack of effort, however, as Tuukka Rask stopped everything he saw except for a Nick Bjugstad shot that found its way to the back of the net. The Panthers were without Jaromir Jagr who missed his first game of the season with a groin injury and a sore side as well as Aleksander Barkov who remains out with a broken bone in his hand. Logan Shaw was admirable in his NHL debut as he could be found on the back-check a few times and was effective on the forecheck but also made a questionable play or two. The Panthers peppered Tuukka Rask with grade-A shots but he was absolutely outstanding all night long. Dmitry Kulikov suffered a broken nose as a result of a check from behind by Brad Marchand late in the 3rd period which caused Kulikov’s face to go straight into the top edge of the door to the bench.
The Washington Capitals are coming off the first game of a back-to-back as well and it was a 2-1 home win against the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets. Justin Williams and TJ Oshie tallied the two Washington goals and Brayden Holtby made 29 save on 30 shots for his 6th win on the season. The Capitals currently have the 4th best record in the league and the 5th best power play.
The keys to the game for the Panthers will be staying out of the box so as to not giving the Capitals’ power play any chance to convert, they’ll have to dump the puck in to the offensive zone and get to work on the forecheck, and they’ll need to get everything on net. The Panthers will also want to get Jonathan Huberdeau going as well considering he has no goals thus far a and points in only 3 of his 9 games play this season. With Barkov and Jagr out, his ability to produce becomes even more important to the Panthers. Capitals’ forward Evgeny Kuznetsov has 10 points in his last 5 games played including a hat trick as part of a 5-point night against Edmonton on October 23rd. Nick Bjugstad has 2 goals in his last 3 games for the Panthers.
Philipp Grubauer will be making his second start of the season for the Capitals and first since allowing 4 goals on 23 shots against the Oilers on October 23rd. Al Montoya will get his third start of the season for the Panthers, and he’s been very good so far. His last start came against the dangerous Dallas Stars one week ago when he allowed just 2 goals on 35 shots.
Last Game Played
The Panthers faced the Bruins on Friday night for their 10th game of the season and lost 3-1. You can find a link to our recap of that game under the “Pre-Game Reading” section above.
The Panthers are 2-5-3 in their last 10 games against the Capitals and went 1-1-1 in three games last season. The last time the two teams met was on January 4th when the Panthers lost 4-3. Trocheck, Olsen, and Bjugstad tallied the 3 Panther goals.
Here’s the NHL video recap of the Panthers’ last game which was against the Bruins: