Skip to main content

Headlines

Florida Panthers vs. Washington Capitals

NHL.com @NHL
Panthers-Capitals Preview

GAME: Florida Panthers (21-25-12-3) at Washington Capitals (19-32-7-2).

TIME: Saturday, 7 p.m. EST.

Thus far, life without Peter Bondra has gone off without a hitch for the Washington Capitals.

They'll try to improve to 2-0 since dealing their all-time leading scorer when they meet the Florida Panthers at the MCI Center.

Washington sent Bondra to Ottawa on Wednesday in its second cost-cutting move of the season. The Capitals dealt star winger Jaromir Jagr to the New York Rangers last month.

Playing their first game without Bondra, the Capitals adjusted nicely, skating to a 3-1 win over the defending Stanley Cup champion New Jersey Devils on Thursday behind the brilliant goaltending of Olaf Kolzig, who made 43 saves.

"I guess we're in a state where you never know what's going to happen," said Kolzig, who has also been mentioned in trade rumors. "With (Bondra) getting traded, it's equivalent to the Capitals as Gretzky getting traded. Anybody's available to go."

Kolzig hasn't let the moves affect his play on the ice. He has lost just twice in his last eight starts (4-2-2) despite the fact that Washington has allowed at least 30 shots in each of its last 10 games, and 40 shots in five of the last eight.

"Olie's been sensational," Washington coach Glen Hanlon said of Kolzig, who stopped 47 shots in a 1-1 tie with Ottawa on Tuesday. "I just have so much admiration and appreciation for him."

The Panthers ended a three-game winless streak Friday, posting a 2-0 win over the hapless Pittsburgh Penguins. Roberto Luongo stopped 34 shots for his 20th career shutout as Pittsburgh suffered its league-record 13th straight home loss and 17th consecutive defeat overall.

Luongo, who faces a league-high 34.5 shots per game, has yielded one goal or fewer in four of his last six starts.

STANDINGS: Panthers - 57 points, 2nd place, 17 PB, Southeast Division. Capitals - 47 points, 5th place, 27 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Panthers - Olli Jokinen, 18 goals; Valeri Bure, 21 assists and 38 points; Darcy Hordichuk, 114 PIM. Capitals - Robert Lang, 27 goals, 42 assists and 69 points; Jason Doig, 103 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 19): Panthers - Power play: 16.6 percent (36 for 217), 11th in NHL. Penalty killing: 84.8 percent (223 for 262), 12th. Capitals - Power play: 19.8 percent (50 for 252), 6th. Penalty killing: 82.1 percent (234 for 285), 23rd.

GOALTENDERS: Panthers - Luongo (18-25-11, 4 SO, 2.37 GAA); Steve Shields (3-3-1, 3.38). Capitals - Kolzig (16-28-6, 2, 2.85); Sebastien Charpentier (0-1-0, 4.05).

SEASON SERIES: Panthers, 2-0-1.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 23; Panthers, 4-1. At Florida, Donald Audette scored a pair of power-play goals as the Panthers cruised to an easy win just hours after the Capitals traded Jagr to the Rangers.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Panthers - 9-16-6-1 on the road; Capitals - 10-14-4-1 at home.


Associated Press
View More