The four wins that the Washington Capitals have racked up to open the 2011-12 season haven't necessarily been pretty, but luckily, wins don't have to be pretty to count in the standings.
Case in point - the Caps enter tonight's game at Verizon Center with the Florida Panthers riding a 4-0-0 record, but three of those wins came in overtime or a shootout, and in Saturday's 2-1 win over Ottawa, the Senators outshot Washington 26-12 over the final two periods.
"[There are] no easy games in this league. And when you think it’s going to be easy, that’s when it’s really, really tough," Capitals goaltender Tomas Vokoun said in the Washington Times.
Regardless, the Caps are looking to keep their winning ways going Tuesday with a hot division rival in town.
The Panthers come in to D.C. having won three of their first four games this season. On Monday night, Florida's special teams exploded for five power-play goals in a 7-4 win over Tampa Bay.
Tuesday's game will be a reunion of sorts for several players on both sides. Ex-Panthers Vokoun and defenseman Dennis Wideman will face Florida for the first time since leaving Miami, while former Capitals wingers Tomas Fleishmann and Matt Bradley will return to Verizon Center as members of the Panthers for the first time.
Faceoff is set for 7 p.m.