News and Notes From Capitals’ Morning Skate: Looking to Stay Hot

The Washington Capitals were back on the ice Friday morning for an optional morning skate prior to hosting the Carolina Hurricanes at 7 PM at Capital One Arena. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Washington. 

The Capitals have won two of the three meetings with the Hurricanes this season, winning 5-4 in overtime at PNC Arena in Raleigh on January 2, dropping a 3-1 decision here on January 11, and beating the Hurricanes 4-3 at PNC Arena a day later. Here are all of the news and notes to get set for tonight’s tilt:

News

Braden Holtby will make his second consecutive appearance, looking for his fourth consecutive win after only winning one of his last eight. Holtby made 35 saves in the Capitals’ 3-2 overtime win over the New York Rangers on Wednesday night. He will make consecutive starts for the first time since March 3-6.

Forwards Shane Gersich, who made his NHL debut on Wednesday night and had three shots on goal, and Alex Chiasson and defenseman Jakub Jerabek will be scratched against the Hurricanes on Friday night.

Alex Ovechkin will play in his 999th career game tonight. Supposing he will stay healthy, he will play his 1000th game at PPG Paints Arena against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday. He will become the first player drafted in 2004 to eclipse the 1000 game mark. New York Islander’s winger Andrew Ladd is behind Ovechkin in games played from the 2004 draft class but is 85 games away from the milestone. Ovechkin, who leads the NHL with 45 goals and the Capitals with 83 points, has 603 career goals and 1118 career points in 998 games.

Interviews

 

Shavings

-Evgeny Kuznetsov has recorded six-straight multi-point games, tying the Capitals’ franchise record. He has five goals and 13 points in that span. He also tied his NHL career-high of 77 points (2015-16) against the Rangers on Wednesday.

-The Capitals have won nine of their last 10 games (9-1-0) dating back to March 10, outscoring opponents 39 to 25. That stretch includes a current six-game win streak at Capital One Arena. During that span, the Capitals have trailed in each of those 10 games for a total of 68:31 minutes, the lowest in the NHL since March 10.

-Barry Trotz recorded his 202nd career win with the Capitals on March 28 against the New York Rangers, which passed Bruce Boudreau for the second-most wins by a coach in franchise history.

-The Capitals have earned a point in 14 of its last 18 games against the Hurricanes (13-4-1) and has posted a 25-9-3 record against Carolina since 2010-11.

-Alex Ovechkin has earned 85 points (36 goals, 49 assists) in 72 career games against the Hurricanes, tied for the second-most points he has earned against an opponent (Winnipeg: 91, Tampa Bay: 85). Since the Hurricanes moved to North Carolina in 1997-98, Ovechkin ranks second in the NHL in points against the franchise, trailing Martin St. Louis (91).

-Nicklas Backstrom has earned 56 points (14 goals, 42 assists) in 52 career games against the Hurricanes, tied for the most points he has registered against an NHL franchise (Tampa Bay: 56 points). Since he entered the NHL in 2007-08, Backstrom is second in the League in points against the Hurricanes, only trailing Ovechkin (67).

-Washington defensemen have combined for 165 points this season. Additionally, Capitals defensemen have combined for 129 points at even strength. This year, 25.9 percent of the Capitals’ total even strength points (499) have come from defensemen.

Capitals Today

Game Notes

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was seeing T.J. Oshie's hat-trick​ during Game 1 of the Caps' second round playoff series against Pittsburgh in 2016. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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