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Live! From the District

CapscrowdWASHINGTON, D.C. -- All kidding aside, this place is going bonkers right now. The streets surrounding Cingular Center are swelling with folks in Capitals garb (mostly Ovechkin jerseys, natch) as the line to get into the building at 5:15 was around the corner and into the subway vestibule.

These folks know a divisional title is at stake, and when the Panthers bus rolled up to the building, the few dozen fans standing around cheered for the Boyz from Parkland, thanking them for the Rendezvous in Raleigh AKA the Rumble at RBC.

This is going to be the sixth sold out crowd here at T-Mobile Arena since February. Before that? "you couldn't give away tickets,'' Randy Moller surmised. Well, he should know about that.

-- Just spoke to JM, says there is no change to the lineup so Panther fans, hope you got your fill of Branislav Mezei. He has probably played his final game in a Florida sweater. And Cory Murphy has been scratched four straight to end the season.

-- Craig Anderson gets the call and starts for Tomas Vokoun. Apparently Tomas' back is still hurting him and Tyler Plante has been called up from Rochester to serve as the backup.

Capssoccer -- BREAKING THE LAW: The Panthers broke some local ordinances here at the Nextel Forum, playing their nightly game of soccer directly in front of the sign asking -- no, demanding -- that there be NO BALL PLAYING OF ANY KIND. Rostislav Olesz explained to this reporter that the sign didn't apply to them.

Ruffians.

-- Will be back for the start of the game, but if you need some more Capitals news, check out Corey Masisak's blog over at the Washington Times. Forgot to mention his work before. He took over the beat for the late, great Dave Fay, a guy we all still miss seeing around the Caps room and press box. Dave would have enjoyed this run. Anywho, here's the blog Washington Times hockey

-- This just in: JM did change up the lineup...Hey, hey, it's MEZEI! Jassen Cullimore is out, in what could be his final game as a Panther....

-- A big reason people were fighting and clawing their way into the arena tonight: It's Alex Ovechkin bobblehead night. I have one question: Who is Alex Ovechkin?

-- And yes, I'm working on getting my ink-stained hands on one of those bobbles..

-- JM sends his regards to North Carolina. "I'm sure we have a lot of fans in Raleigh tonight.''

-- Since tonight's game is for the Southeast Division title (it either goes to Washington or Carolina), thought we'd do some trivia: Name the only team in the Southeast to never win the Southeast.

OK, that's pretty easy. Here are your past Southeast Division champs.

CAROLINA: 1999 2002 2006

TAMPA BAY 2003 2004

WASHINGTON 2000 2001

ATLANTA 2007

FLORIDA PANTHERS ????

GAME ON -- GAME ON -- GAME ON -- GAME ON

-- This place is as full as I've ever seen it, but it isn't PLR (Packed Like Rats) or SRO (Standing Room Only) or even REO (Speedwagon) by any means. Very active, very hyped up bunch here in Washington though.

-- Tonight's game is also on HDNet for those of you who have what they call 'High Definition TV.' I still don't, a surprise to no one I'm sure...

-- First time out here at Metro PCS Garden, Panthers actually outshooting the Baltimore Bullets 5-3...

-- Someone in Raleigh just shouted at Mezei, because...

WASHINGTON GOAL....TOMAS 'COACH' FLEISCHMANN GOES AROUND MEZEI, GETS ANDY TO OVER COMMIT...WSH 1, FLA 0 @ 7:19 of the first...

-- Three Panthers played in all 82 games this season: Olli, Bo and Nate.

-- I ended up covering 79 of the 82 regular season games. Throw in all seven preseason games, and that ain't too shabby....

-- In past two days, Panthers have been out-penalized (is that a word?) 14-0. Caps are on their second 5-on-3 of the night...

-- Ovechkin called for slashing, so the Panthers streak ends. They have forgotten what a power play feels like.

SECOND PERIOD

-- Replay finally gives something to the Panthers and Kamil Kreps...

-- PANTHERS GOAL...KAMIL KREPS WITH THE REPLAY GOAL MAKES IT 1-1 @ 7:02 of the second period..Panthers still on the power play...that cheer you heard was from Raleigh...

-- Washington retakes the lead...some guy named Sergei Federov from the left side with a blister @ 15:05 of the second...2-1 Caps...

-- End of two in DC...folks feeling it in Raleigh right now and I feel bad for my friends up there..they've been looking forward to the playoffs all season, and they get pulled away on the final weekend...at least I've had a few weeks to go to the driving range and get ready for Tuesday...

-- Anyways, as is my tradition here thanks to my traditional work, signing off for the night...see you on the first tee...Since this is the final game of the second season of On Frozen Blog, I leave you with some of my favorite pictures this season. Enjoy.

And remember to check in once, twice, three times a day during the summer. You never know when something new will be up...

PEACE!

Barrymanilow Banana Bert

Cleanglass_2 Milano1

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