Originally posted on Fox Sports Florida  |  Last updated 2/7/12
Tune into FOX Sports Florida at 7 p.m. to watch the Florida Panthers take on the Washington Capitals. NHL Panthers territory. The Southeast Division may be qualifying only one team for the postseason, making the back-and-forth battle for first place that much more important down the stretch. The division-leading Florida Panthers visit the second-place Washington Capitals on Tuesday night as the teams face off for the top spot for the second time in less than a week. Florida (24-16-11) has the least amount of points of any division leader and failed to extend its lead over Washington after falling 6-3 at Tampa on Saturday. Washington (27-21-4) couldn't capitalize and fell 4-1 to Boston on Sunday, remaining one point behind Florida. It sits in ninth place in the Eastern Conference and out of the playoff picture. The Panthers took over the Southeast lead with a 4-2 win over the Capitals on Wednesday, and they'll look to remain in that position by ending a three-game losing streak in D.C. "It's a big game for us," coach Kevin Dineen told the Panthers' official website. "We were disappointed with the outcome and our overall consistent effort in Tampa, so we're looking at this as a very important game to really get us going for the stretch run." Washington coach Dale Hunter feels similarly after his team's most recent defeat dropped it to 3-4-2 in the last nine games after winning seven of nine Dec. 28-Jan. 15. "We know what's on the line," Hunter said. "It'll be (like) a playoff game. "It's for the lead in our division, so both teams are going to be ready to play. Every point means a lot, so it's important. It's a four-point game against a team that you're battling." The Capitals may have suffered a setback when Brooks Laich left Sunday's game after being hit into the boards, injuring his knee. Hunter said the injury is not serious and Laich is day to day, though Laich said he's waiting for a specific diagnosis. "I'm not a doctor, but these things sometimes there's some swelling and you've got to wait to see what happens," Laich said. "I don't think it's anything serious. In the past I've been a fast healer, so we'll see when I wake up." Laich scored Wednesday's against Florida and also in a 5-4 defeat Dec. 5. Scott Clemmensen made 26 saves for the Panthers on Wednesday and 28 in the December meeting, when Stephen Weiss scored twice and added an assist. The Capitals beat the Panthers 3-0 in Washington on Oct. 18, as former Panther Tomas Vokoun made 20 saves. Vokoun, who signed with the Capitals prior to this season, made 26 saves Sunday, and it's unclear if he'll be in net against his former team. Clemmensen allowed a season-high five goals and was pulled in Saturday's defeat, dropping him to 3-2-2 with a 2.66 goals-against average in his last seven starts. Former Capital Jose Theodore is nursing a knee injury. Alex Ovechkin missed the most recent meeting while serving the last of a three-game suspension. He has eight goals and 11 assists in his last 16 games against the Panthers. Florida hasn't beaten Washington in three straight meetings since Nov. 15-28, 2007.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Sanu: Halftime show played role in Super Bowl collapse

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Report: Rams, Clippers discussing NBA venue in Inglewood

Terrence Jones reportedly interested in joining Celtics

LeBron reverses course, says he ‘always felt good’ about Cavs

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Ole Miss tried to implicate Mississippi State in football scandal

Jamaal Charles could be on the roster bubble

Jimmy Butler on state of Bulls: ‘I just want to win at all costs’

Report: Giants will be ‘aggressive’ in trying to sign Jason Pierre-Paul

Report: Porzingis avoided ligament damage in ankle

Brooks Koepka meltdown includes whiff, stomping head off driver

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

James Dolan is among potential group of investors of new arena for New York Islanders

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker