|Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV%|
|Washington Capitals||Ilya Samsonov||5-1-3||2.43 / .904|
|Florida Panthers||Sergei Bobrovsky||8-0-1||1.81 / .944|
The Washington Capitals will take on the red-hot Florida Panthers on Thursday night. To start the season, the Panthers won eight straight games, and are still undefeated in regulation with a 8-0-1 record over nine games.
On Monday, the Capitals fell to the Tampa Bay Lightning by a score of 3-2. Despite some hard-fought moments and strong goaltending by Vitek Vanecek, a botched penalty against Tom Wilson to give the Bolts a 5-on-3 opportunity ended up dooming Washington to their first regulation loss. Brett Leason scored his first career NHL goal at the 1:13 mark of the first period to give the Caps an early lead, but unfortunately, Tampa would score three in succession to snag the win.
Alex Killorn tallied his 7th of the season three minutes into the 2nd period to tie the game. With Dmitry Orlov and Tom Wilson both in the penalty box, Anthony Cirelli scored to make it 2-1, Bolts. The Tom Wilson penalty was extremely questionable, and the 5-on-3 situation was definitely a turning point in the game.
Brayden Point scored just two minutes and 56 seconds into the third period to make it 3-1, Tampa, a goal which would be the eventual game-winner. Conor Sheary did manage to score on the power play at the 11:38 mark to bring Washington within one, but it wasn’t enough.
The Capitals were 1-for-4 on the man-advantage, as was Tampa. Ilya Samsonov will start for the Capitals. He is 3-0-1 this season with a GAA of 2.43.
The Florida Panthers were last in action on Saturday where they lost to the Boston Bruins in the shootout by the same margin, a 3-2 loss. The first goal of the game wasn’t scored until the 19:18 mark of the first period. Charlie Coyle scored his 3rd of the season to give Boston the lead, but that lead would only hold for 47 seconds into the middle frame. Anthony Duclair scored an absolutely insane goal to kick off the second period. It was his 6th of the season.
Aleksander Barkov tallied his 5th of the season on the Florida power play to make it 2-1, Panthers just short of the eight-minute mark of the third period. But Charlie McAvoy would score, also on the power play, but this time for the Bruins, to tie the game, 2-2. With no additional goals having been scored in regulation, nor the overtime period, a shootout was needed.
Spencer Knight, the Cats former 1st Round pick in 2019, was perfect heading into the matchup against Boston. He did allow just two goals on 33 shots, but it took just two shootout skaters for the Bruins to hand him a loss. All three Florida skaters failed to beat Linus Ullmark. The loss marked his first of the season but is still undefeated in regulation.
Sergei Bobrovsky has been lights out for Florida this season, after some uncharacteristically bad showings in previous years. He is 6-0-0 with a 1.81 GAA and a stellar .944 save percentage. Bobrovsky will start against the Capitals.
The Panthers are without the following skaters;
- C Joe Thornton
- D Radko Gudas
- C Sam Bennett
- C Noel Acciari
- D Markus Nutivaara
- D Olli Juolevi
- C Anton Lundell
- D John Ludvig
- The 8-0-1 Florida Panthers will arguably be Washington’s most difficult opponent thus far this season. The Cats are a perfect 5-0-0 at home.
- Sergei Bobrovsky, who is expected to start, is undefeated with a 6-0-0 record. The team allows a 2nd fewest 1.89 goals against per game.
- The Capitals allow the fewest shots on goal against per game (25.8), but their penalty kill is performing at an abysmal 76.9% (23rd).
The Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers will play on Thursday, November 4th, at 7:00 EST, and can be seen on NBC Sports Washington and Bally Sports Florida.