As the Capitals and Panthers prepare for their second game in four days, one team is looking to build off the momentum of a big win while the other is seeking redemption for a blowout loss.
Washington hopes that it turned a corner with its 5-0 win over the Panthers Saturday at Verizon Center and wants to ensure that it continues moving forward after the victory rather than slip back into old habits like it did after the two earlier wins this season.
“We had a chance to see how we’re supposed to do it to win games, the games before that we knew we were playing well but not the full game,” Mike Ribeiro said. “I think that’s what we did last game was to put in a full 60 in all the areas that we had to get better at, we did that last game. I think we just need to build on that and keep going.”
But to do that, they’ll need to best a Florida squad that wants to prove it’s better than the drubbing on F Street showed.
“For us, coming off a loss to them, a tough loss where it was a pretty lopsided score that obviously doesn’t sit well with us,” said Panthers goaltender Scott Clemmensen, who will start tonight. “We’re looking forward to getting another crack at them.”
Florida wants to get off to a strong start, something that Coach Adam Oates said he will make sure the Capitals are prepared to contend with. The Panthers also want to find ways to make life a little more difficult for goaltender Braden Holtby.
Although they fired 27 shots against Holtby on Saturday, the Panthers didn’t feel like they truly challenged the Capitals goaltender. They want to create more traffic in front, generate more quality shots and make it an all-around tougher night for Holtby.
“We didn’t go to the net enough. Holtby was pretty good [Saturday]. He’s a good goalie but we’ve got to make his life harder, so I think that’s what we’re going to try to do tonight,” Florida rookie centerman Jonathan Huberdeau said. “We’ve got to go to the net, make a good screen on him. If he sees the puck he’s going to make all the saves so I think that’s what we’ve got to do. I watched him like in the playoffs, he’s a great goalie. Just got to try to beat him, and one goal is going to affect his confidence, for sure.”