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.
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal


Adam Jones: Bengals dominated Steelers in playoff game

Robert Griffin III on QB battle: Only one of us runs 4.3

Gordon defends friendship with 'good friend' Manziel

Geno Smith ‘kind of pissed off’ about Ryan Fitzpatrick’s return

Bell admits he knew about missed drug test, lied to media

Report: Chargers rookie Joey Bosa to hold out of camp

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

Five NFL teams set to underachieve in 2016

WATCH: Belichick gets annoyed by Jimmy Garoppolo question

Ronda Rousey denies being pregnant despite rumor

Eight most overpaid offensive players in NFL

Giants acquire All-Star Eduardo Nunez from the Twins

Vikings QB injured trying to kick open door

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.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

One Gotta Go: Do NBA players really love NBA2K?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Follow Yardbarker