Panthers at Capitals preview
Luongo expected to start for Florida, would tie Roy for second in NHL history in games played; Washington seeks fourth win in five gamesby Harvey Valentiine / NHL.com Correspondent
PANTHERS (22-22-8) at CAPITALS (30-18-6)
7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSWA, FS-F, NHL.TV
Roberto Luongo is expected to start in net for the Florida Panthers at the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Saturday.
Luongo would tie Patrick Roy (1,029 games/1,003 starts) for second in NHL history in games played by a goalie behind Martin Brodeur (1,266/1,251). The 39-year-old is two wins from tying Ed Belfour (484) for third in NHL history.
Florida is 5-2-0 in its past seven after a seven-game losing streak (0-5-2). The Panthers have allowed two goals or fewer in five of their past seven games. He is 21-12-3 against the Capitals with a 2.38 goals-against average and a .924 save percentage.
The Capitals are 3-1-0 in their past four games after a seven-game losing streak (0-5-2). They begin the day in second place in the Metropolitan Division, two points behind the New York Islanders.
Players to watch
Panthers forward Frank Vatrano has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past seven games.
Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has eight points (four goals, four assists) in his past five games.
They said it
"They have scoring and offense. We have to maintain our game and play a simple game there." -- Panthers coach Bob Boughner
"It's important that we make their top defenseman work tonight. I think their guys…are clearly solid, good defenders and can hurt you on the offensive end if you don't make them go 200 feet. So, when we have opportunities, we have to put pucks behind them." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden
Panthers projected lineup
Frank Vatrano -- Aleksander Barkov -- Evgenii Dadonov
Jonathan Huberdeau -- Vincent Trocheck -- Derick Brassard
Mike Hoffman -- Henrik Borgstrom -- Riley Sheahan
Troy Brouwer -- Denis Malgin -- Colton Sceviour
Keith Yandle -- Aaron Ekblad
Mike Matheson -- Mark Pysyk
Scratched: MacKenzie Weegar, Micheal Haley, Bogdan Kiselevich
Injured: Jayce Hawryluk (lower body), Derek MacKenzie (shoulder)
Capitals projected lineup
Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly
Dmitrij Jaskin -- Nic Dowd -- Travis Boyd
Michal Kempny -- John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik -- Christian Djoos
Scratched: Chandler Stephenson, Madison Bowey, Devante Smith-Pelly
The Panthers did not skate Saturday. … Djoos returns after missing 24 games with an injured left thigh that required surgery, meaning that the Capitals will have their full lineup available for the first time this season.
Barkov has eight points (two goals, six assists) in his past five games. … Holtby will play his 400th NHL game. Oshie has 10 points (two goals, eight assists) in his past seven games. Kuznetsov has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past 10 games.