Finally, Tomas Vokoun gets the nod at BankAtlantic Center on Friday.
All season long, the Washington Capitals have searched for a recipe for road success. Unable to manufacture energy away from raucous Verizon Center, they spent months falling behind and then losing.
An announced crowd of 15,231 Wednesday night at BankAtlantic Center included many tickets sold that went unused. It didn't seem to matter that the Washington Capitals and Florida Panthers were fighting for first place in the Southeast Division, as the odd confluence of an 8 p.m. start and Alex Ovechkin's suspension likely played a role in a light crowd.
It's a 50-50 chance for Dale Hunter to pick a goaltender and get second-guessed. Tomas Vokoun established himself as the Washington Capitals' No. 1 guy over the past month, but it was Michal Neuvirth who got the call Wednesday night for the biggest game in a while, a road showdown with the Florida Panthers.
As the final seconds ticked off the clock, the Washington Capitals were attacking. They had turned a blowout into a nail-biter for the Florida Panthers and came perilously close to tying the score and salvaging a point that looked almost impossible in the second period.
The glory days of Florida Panthers hockey were a long time ago now – from 1995 to 2000. John Vanbiesbrouck and Scott Mellanby might not be walking through that door, but a piece of that success has come back.
By the time the third period started Monday night, realignment was the hot topic. The Washington Capitals were well on their way to a 5-4 loss to the Florida Panthers in a game between the top two teams in the Southeast Division.
The Florida Panthers have formally introduced Kevin Dineen as the franchise's 11th head coach.
The out-of-town scoreboard at BankAtlantic Center on Saturday night meant a lot more to the Capitals than what they did against the Panthers on the ice. Washington left with a 1-0 loss to Florida in Game 82 of the regular season. But the bigger news was the Caps learned they will face the New York Rangers in the first round of the playoffs.