After a lengthy four-game road trip and a week in the west coast, the Capitals return home Tuesday night to faceoff against the Carolina Hurricanes.
It is the fourth and final meeting between the teams this season and the Caps are looking to end their two-game losing skid, get their 50th win and clinch a playoff berth on their home ice.
Washington is 2-1 this season against the Hurricanes. The Caps have also won three consecutive home games against the Canes and carry a 7-2-1 record in the last 10 games against Carolina. This is their first meeting in the 2016 calendar year as these teams last faced-off on New Years Eve in Raleigh, North Carolina where the Caps suffered a 4-2 defeat.
Scouting Report on the Hurricanes:
The Hurricanes carry a 32-23-12 record with 74 points, five points behind the Red Wings for the final playoff spot. They will be coming in motivated and fighting for their playoff lives so the Capitals need a strong start against their Metro Division rival from their top lines in the first 20 minutes of the game.
The Canes are coming off a tough 3-2 overtime loss in Buffalo on Saturday afternoon when Sabres rookie sensation Jack Eichel netted the game-winning goal with a second left. It was also the second goal of the game for Eichel, the number two pick of last year’s NHL Draft. Phillip Di Giuseppe and Victor Rask found the back of the net for Carolina.
Scouting Report on the Capitals:
The Capitals are back from a tough west coast trip that saw them lose two in a row. The first came in overtime in L.A. after an impressive rally from the red, white, and blue as they came back from a 3-0 deficit.
After that tough loss to the Kings, the Caps concluded their west coast swing in San Jose. The Capitals fell 5-2. The two summer acquisitions provided the scoring. Williams scored his 20th goal of the season while T.J. Oshie scored his 21stin a Capitals sweater.
Despite the losses the Capitals still earned a point in Wednesday night’s tilt with the Kings as they forced overtime. The Capitals are still the only team in the NHL that hasn’t suffered two consecutive losses in regulation.
Players To Watch:
Capitals: Goalie Braden Holtby
In 12 career games against Carolina, Holtby carries an 8-4-0 record with one shutout, a 1.99 goals-against average and a .942 save percentage.
Hurricanes: Goalie Cam Ward
In his 11th season in Carolina, Ward carries a 20-15-8 record with a 2.44 goals-against average and a .907 save percentage. The veteran has had a great career as he led the Hurricanes to a Stanley Cup in 2006 as a rookie and won the Con Smythe Trophy in the process. The Caps’ own Justin Williams was also an integral part of that team’s run to their first cup.
NHL Eastern Conference Standings:
You can catch the game on CSN. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m. from Verizon Center.
By Michael Marzzacco