Carlson and Washington take on Florida

Florida Panthers (12-7-5, second in the Atlantic Division) vs. Washington Capitals (16-4-5, first in the Metropolitan Division)

Washington; Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST

BOTTOM LINE: John Carlson and Washington hit the ice against Florida. Carlson ranks fifth in the NHL with 36 points, scoring eight goals and recording 28 assists.

The Capitals are 8-2-1 in conference games. Washington ranks fourth in the NHL shooting 11.1% and averaging 3.5 goals on 31.8 shots per game.

The Panthers are 8-5-3 in Eastern Conference play. Florida ranks third in the league averaging 3.5 goals per game, led by Brett Connolly with 11.

In their last meeting on Nov. 7, Washington won 5-4. Alex Ovechkin scored two goals for the Capitals.

TOP PERFORMERS: Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 15 goals and has totaled 25 points. Evgeny Kuznetsov has collected 13 points over the last 10 games for Washington.

Connolly leads the Panthers with 11 goals and has recorded 18 points. Aleksander Barkov Jr. has five goals and seven assists over the last 10 games for Florida.

LAST 10 GAMES: Panthers: 5-4-1, averaging 3.5 goals, 5.6 assists, 2.7 penalties and 5.7 penalty minutes while allowing 3.7 goals per game with a .888 save percentage.

Capitals: 6-2-2, averaging 2.9 goals, 4.6 assists, 3.9 penalties and 9.4 penalty minutes while giving up 2.5 goals per game with a .922 save percentage.

Capitals Injuries: Nicklas Backstrom: day to day (upper body).

Panthers Injuries: Jayce Hawryluk: out (upper body).