Panthers Vs. Capitals: It's Win And (Nearly) In For Washington

April 2, 2012; Tampa FL, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Jason Chimera (25) is congratulated by teammates after he scored a goal against the Tampa Bay Lightning during the third period at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Washington Capitals 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The Capitals can clinch a playoff spot with a win over Florida and a Buffalo loss to Philadelphia.

More: Four Years Later, It's Florida Again

The Washington Capitals are on the brink of qualifying for the Stanley Cup playoffs, but they aren't quite there yet. They control their own destiny, and a win against the Florida Panthers Thursday night at Verizon Center coupled with a Buffalo loss to Philadelphia would lock up the eighth and final spot in the Eastern Conference. The game starts at 7 pm and can be found on CSN.

The Florida Panthers have not quite yet locked up the Southeast Division crown, but they can do that with a single point against the Capitals, so they will also have something to play for tonight, and it won't be easy for the Caps.

We'll have plenty more on this game throughout the day, so keep it locked to this StoryStream for all the latest news and updates. For more on this game and all things Capitals hockey, please head over to Japers' Rink. For a view from the other bench, check out Litter Box Cats, SB Nation's Florida Panthers blog. You can also head over to the SB Nation NHL hub page for more on this and every NHL game.

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