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LIVE! Florida Panthers at Washington Capitals from MCI Center in Washington ... Sean Avery, Dion Phaneuf and Elisha Cuthbert in the news ...

CapitalsWASHINGTON -- Hey hey, ho ho, it's hockey night from the nation's capital as the Florida Panthers make their first visit to MCI Center since  last season's regular season finale (say that three times fast. OK, not that hard).

Both teams are so banged up, their two AHL teams have called off practices and will attend tonight's game. If anyone gets hurt from the Caps, someone from the Hersey Bears is ready to hop into the action; ditto for the Rochester Americans.

Well, that's not exactly true. The Panthers have raided Rochester so badly, there is no one left. The team is now out of players and plan to hold open tryouts Wednesday at the Rochester Shake-n-Skate. Be there by 10 a.m. and the team will sharpen your skates at a 50 percent discount!

The flat screen televisions here are blank, Capitals television voice Joe Benanti has nothing to say (OK, that's not true either) and folks throughout South Florida are gathering around the radio to listen to Radio3 tonight's television-free game.

At least that's what Randy Moller told me. Don't know if that's true or not.

Either way, will be back with LIVE! coverage of tonight's game. Don't be left out in the cold; come on back to On Frozen Pond, just a small part of Miami Herald Hockey Central.

-- Kickoff is around 7 p.m., so I'll be back around then. Lines and stuff like that can be found in the previous post, you know, the one just below this one. Go ahead and check that out. It's free.

--Don't know if you heard, but Sean Avery has been suspended for making comments regarding Dion Phaneuf today in Calgary. Has to do with Phaneuf dating Avery's ex-girlfriend, the very lovely and talented Elisha Cuthbert.

Check out the story here.

Elisha And, in case you don't know who Ms. Cuthbert is, well, here ya go.

You're welcome.

-- My take on Avery: I don't think the NHL should suspend a guy for making comments like this. The NBA never would. He didn't question the integrity of the league, rip refs for taking money under the table, anything like that.

Elisha2 Classless? Oh yeah. Sean Avery went rolling in the sewers on this one. But he shouldn't be suspended by the league.

-- From the 'Did You Know, Did You Care?' File: Not far from the Georgetown 1984 national championship banners hanging from the rafters here are three banners celebrating the Washington Mystics leading the WNBA in attendance.

True story: The Mystics have banners honoring their 'attendance championships' from 1998, 1999 and 2002.

Good for them.

Chevy Chevy2 -- I didn't know Chevy Chase had his own bank. He must have done very well with his Vacation movies and his late night talk show, eh?

-- Warm-ups are over and I'm feel ready to go.

About ready to start tonight's Radio Only game from DC...players have started coming out onto the ice. Radio4 Scratches for Florida: David Booth (shoulder) and Noah Welch (coach decision). Craig Anderson in net for the Florida Cats, Jose Theodore in the cage for the Caps.

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

-- Stephen Weiss just made a few nice moves and worked the puck in on Theodore; nice save at 3 minute mark. That's Florida's first shot of the night...

-- Haven't done the number game in a while, so here we go:

Nick Tarnasky is wearing No. 74, the first player in franchise history to do so. Good for you, Nasty.

Kenndal McArdel is wearing No. 71, also the first time that number has been worn. Congrats to both.

-- Weiss line is looking exceptionally good. Have kept the puck in the WASH zone every time they've been on the ice...

--Caps get the first power play chance of the night, Michael Frolik going to the bin at 6:14...shots: 1-1

--Andy is sharp tonight...just turned back two big scoring chances during the power play...panthers kill it off...we're at the midway mark of the first...

-- He just had another one...

--Question on JumboTron: What is Florida most known for? A: Oranges; B: Beaches; C: The Early Bird Special. Text your answer to 37686 now...

Elisha4_2 --4:55 left in the first; Panthers haven't done anything offensive lately...shots: WSH 7-2

-- Capitals going back on the power play...Brett McLean in for tripping @ 15:47

10 SECONDS INTO POWER PLAY, IT'S NICKLAS BACKSTROM...NICE JOB BY CAPS WORKING PUCK AROUND...WITH 4:03 LEFT IN FIRST, IT'S WASHINGTON 1-0 OVER PANTHERS

--Panthers getting a power play chance at 17:35..

-- Caps kill off power play. FLA shots: 0

-- Radek Dvorak has a good shot, stopped in the final seconds...

AFTER ONE, IT'S NATIONALS 1, MARLINS 0

-- We'll be back for the second...

-- Florida gets off four (FOUR!) shots in the opening period...they are: Stephen Weiss (1) and Dvorak (3). Good looking offense tonight...

--In college basketball action, the No. 22 Hurricanes are all over Ohio State 36-22 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge...

SECOND PERIOD -- SECOND PERIOD -- SECOND PERIOD

HOLY PELTONEN...HE WALKS IN JOSE 'JOSE' THEODORE AND GOES TOP SHELF TO TIE IT AT 6:19...IT'S NOW 1-1...

-- Panthers are looking a lot more aggressive here in this second period...and what can you say about the Peltonen-Dvorak-Campbell trifecta? Also, Soup is wearing the A tonight...

-- Panthers go on the power play...Alex Ovechkin in the box for interference..

PANTHERS SCORE...PUCK GOES OFF KARL AZNER AND PAST THEODORE...HAVE TO SEE WHO THEY GIVE IT TOO...REGARDLESS, FLA 2, WASH 1....

Beaver -- Giving it to Jay Bouwmeester...unassisted...'cept for Azner and Theodore...Oh Beaver....

-- Taking a timeout...8:37 left in the second...Florida has been pretty good in this period, playing that 'team' game...Weiss has been all over the place, Dvorak and Peltonen too...shots now: WSH 12-11.

-- The Anthony Stewart Trio has also been pretty good. Had some chances..

-- Panthers back on the power play...

OH MY...IT'S 3-1...BRYAN MCCABE WITH A WICKED WRISTER FROM THE LEFT SIDE, LOOKS TO HAVE GONE OFF OLESZ AND THROUGH...CATS WITH A TWO GOAL LEAD WITH 7-PLUS LEFT IN THE SECOND...THEY'RE SAYING IT WAS CLEAN...GIVE IT TO MCCABE...NICE SAVE BY MCLEAN TO GET HIM THE PUCK...

-- Panthers are playing a pretty good game right now, although the Caps have been helping out...still, with this makeshift lineup, Florida fans have to feel pretty good about things...

-- We're at the two minute mark here in quarter numero dos...

-- Anthony Stewart just had a nice chance, picking off the puck and firing it off...1:06 left in second...

OK KIDS, END OF TWO IN WASHINGTON, FLORIDA GETS THREE GOALS, TAKES LEAD AGAINST MYSTICS 3-1...

-- Will be back in the third...don't run away...

THIRD PERIOD -- THIRD PERIOD -- THIRD PERIOD

WARM UP THE BUS, RADEK DVORAK GETS ANOTHER ONE...ITS 4-1 WITH 15:15 LEFT...THE FANS HERE IN THE UPPER DECK AIN'T HAPPY...

-- Washington just went on the power play and got off some good shots...Anderson is really playing well right now...just stopped Ovechkin on a monster shot from the left side...

-- Under 10 minutes left...shots: WSH 23-18

-- Panthers now getting a power play chance of their own...coming with 6:55 left...

CAPS CUT IT IN HALF...IT'S 4-2 WITH 3:49 LEFT....DON'T RUN AWAY JUST YET...

-- Ville Peltonen just went into the box with 3:11 left for tripping...

IT'S A ONE GOAL GAME...WASHINGTON SCORES WITH 2:58 LEFT...FLA 4, WASH 3

-- Good scrap here to the end...Ballard and Ovechkin just jostled a bit...Wash takes a TO with 1:19 left...And here comes Bluto on the scoreboard...

'It ain't over now...'

IT IS NOW...CAMPBELL WITH THE EMPTY NET WITH 1 MINUTE LEFT...PANTHERS 5, WSH 3...

Good night kids...see you another time...

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