So, this Wednesday at 7:30 p.m., when the Panthers face Alex Ovechkin and his league-leading Washington Capitals, consider it an early test of whether Florida is 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 the BankAtlantic Center 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.
Wed., Jan. 13, 7:30 p.m., 2010