Sunday, March 6, 2011

Happy Purim! GAME DAY - Panthers vs Capitals 3/4/11 5:00 PM

Florida Panthers (26-31-8 60 points)
Washington Capitals (35-20-10 80 points)
Sunday, March 6, 2011 5:00 PM BankAtlantic Center, Sunrise, FL
TV: FS-Florida (Steve Goldstein/Bill Lindsay), CSN-Caps/NHL Network Canada (Joe Beninati, Craig Laughlin)
RADIO: 560 WQAM (Miami) (Randy Moller), WFED 1500 The Fan (Atlanta) (Steve Kolbe, Ken Sabourin)

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The Florida Panthers return to action at home after a brief stopover in Atlanta. The Atlanta Trashers topped the Panthers 4-3 last night at Phillips in Atlanta. Florida can relax a bit, though, because they have had recent success against one of the toughest teams in the league. Although it is a six game series, a scheduling quirk has the two teams matching up for only the fourth time this year. The two teams will meet two more times in the final week of the season, it what could be important games for seeding in the Eastern Conference. Florida has a 2-1 advantage in the season series. Florida took game 1 against the then struggling Caps 3-0 at the Verizon Center in December. That game was featured in the HBO special "24/7". After a great showing for diehard hockey fans and weirdos that like watching reruns of "Cathouse" at 2am but somehow found the wrong Cats on their TV screens, Washington edged them 3-2 in the 2nd matchup in January. Florida returned the favor just three days later, edging the Capitals 4-3 on home ice.
OH, WELCOME BACK: Accoriding to George Richards of the Miami Herald, Clay Wilson has been recalled by the Panthers. Wilson played in two games in a previous stint earlier this year. The 27 year old defenseman has appeared in 18 career games and has 1 career goal.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Jason Arnett was acquired by the Capitals right at the deadline from New Jersey. The veteran has 3 goals in 4 games against the Panthers as a member of the Devils. Look for him to continue that dominence tonight. Also, another member of the All-Firesale Team will be making his much awaited return tonight. Dennis Wideman has been quiet since joining the Caps. Wideman has 9 goals for the Panthers and coupled with 24 assists tallied 33 points. At the time he was one of just four Panthers with over 30 points on the season. If the Panthers stay diciplined, he should be a non-factor, but if the Cats get to the box, look for him to play a VERY important role in the power-play unit. He was well-regarded for getting pucks towards the net on a less-than-supurb Panthers power-play. Of course, I'd be doing the blog a disservice if I did not mention Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin are still on the Capitals, too! On the Panthers side, Mike Santorelli is the only Panther with more than 1 goal against Washington, scoring 3. Stephen Weiss has 6 assists against Washington this year.

BOLD PREDICTION: Well, I wasn't going to do this for every game, but it worked yesterday, so here goes!I think Florida continues its dominence as the Caps fall into a trap game with a huge game against Tampa Bay (for first place in the division, no less) tomorrow. 3-1 Florida.

HAPPY PURIM! The Panthers are hosting a pre-purim party today. It starts at 3 and festivities include a costume contest and my favorite Jewish food, HUMENTASHIN! See the picture to the left if you don't know what it is!

FATHER'S DAY: This is the Capitals traditional father's trip. Players bring their dads with them for the trip to Sunrise and Tampa. Not a bad vacation, eh?
FLA - Scott Clemmensen 6-7-3
WAS - Michal Neuvirth 21-10-4

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