The Florida Panthers will face two stern tests at the BB&T Center this weekend before the club heads to the West Coast to battle all three of the NHL's California teams.
On Friday night, the Boston Bruins (4-3-1) and former Panther Jimmy Hayes will be dropping by for the first meeting between the two Atlantic Division rivals. The B's are currently two points behind Florida in the standings, so this a big game for the Cats if they want to stay in third place in the division. A Panthers' victory would give them their first three-game winning streak of 2015-16. Boston is coming off an impressive 6-0 rout over road weary Arizona in its last outing.
Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are on the docket for Saturday night. The Caps have only lost twice this season and the boys from The District are among the favorites to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup final this season. Like the Cats, Washington will be coming into the Halloween night tilt having played on Friday, as they will face the Columbus Blue Jackets at home before hitting Sunrise. The Capitals took two of three from the Cats last season, with Florida claiming its win in a shootout.
How do you see this weekend shaking out? Is a split giving the Panthers, sans Barkov and possibly Jagr, a 2-1 record on the homestand acceptable? Or will it take a three or four-point performance over this two-game stretch to keep you from getting ghoulish?
The floor is yours.