The Panthers came in on a high, winning three of their first four games. Brian Campbell leads the NHL with seven assists, and he's a defenseman. They had just swept last seasons Eastern Conference finalist Tampa Bay in a home and home series. Things have not looked this promising in quite some time.
The Cats hit the ice and instantly looked outmatched. The Caps looked like a playoff team, the Panthers looked like last years team. In Florida's defense, it was the first time they had played back-to-back games this season. Tired and haggard, the Panthers take the long flight home after a 3-0 loss, while the Capitals go home and help their wives decorate for Halloween.
Florida took their home ice on Thursday to try and redeem themselves for their poor performance against Washington. Inexplicably, considering they had an off day, the Panthers still looked tired and flat. Again, a good goaltending performance was rendered moot by a pathetic offensive display as Florida took their second consecutive 3-0 loss to one of last years playoff teams.
There were few bright spots for the Panthers in games 5 and 6.