So, this Wednesday, when the Panthers face off against Alex Ovechkin and his league-leading Washington Capitals at 7:30 p.m., consider it an early test of whether Floridas for real. Are the Cats legitimate contenders or lame chumps? Can Florida overcome the weak goaltending of Vokoun and Clemmensen? Will the concussed David Booth ever return? Both fans and doubters should head to BankAtlantic Center (1 Panther Parkway, Sunrise) to have their questions half-answered. A bit of dire foreshadowing: The last battle between these two Southeast Division rivals ended with a 6-2 Panthers beatdown. Tickets cost $10 to $225. Visit floridapanthers.com.
Wed., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m., 2010