Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals Preview: Hurricanes Storm Into DC For First Time Since January 2020

Photo: Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

For the first time since January 13, 2020, the Washington Capitals will host the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday night in the second meeting of the season between the two teams. The Capitals won the first game against the Hurricanes by a score of 4-2 at PNC Arena on November 28.

If the regular season ended on Wednesday, the Capitals and Hurricanes would meet in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The two teams will play three times in a span of 24 days, including twice at Capital One Arena, starting on Thursday. Action from the nation’s capital can be seen exclusively on ESPN+ and Hulu beginning at 7 PM ET.

Schedule

The Hurricanes wrap up a two-game road trip after falling 4-3 in overtime to the Detroit Red Wings in the trip opener on Tuesday and start a set of back-to-backs with them set to entertain the Pittsburgh Penguins in Raleigh on Friday night. The Hurricanes will start a four-game homestand and stretch where eight out of 10 will be at PNC Arena following Thursday, including a home date against the Capitals on March 18.

The Capitals continue a three-game homestand before their Western Canada trip after falling 5-3 to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.

Records

Hurricanes: 18-7-3 on road (second in NHL), 11-5-2 in last 19 away from PNC Arena

Capitals: 12-11-5 at home (20th), 3-10-1 at Capital One Arena since December 9, have lost six straight in regulation at home

How Each Team Is Doing

Hurricanes: seven-game point-streak (5-0-2) since losing three out of four (1-2-1) out of All-Star Break

Capitals: three straight losses since returning from their week back, 8-12-2 (26th) since New Year’s

Standings

Hurricanes: first in Eastern Conference in points (79) and points percentage (.745), second in NHL behind Colorado Avalanche (84 points, .778 points percentage) in each category, five-point lead over Penguins (with two games in hand) and eight-point lead over New York Rangers (with each team having played 53 games) for Metropolitan Division lead

Capitals: eight-point lead over Columbus Blue Jackets (who have a game in hand) for second wild-card spot, eighth in Eastern Conference and fourth in Metropolitan Division with 65 points and .591 points percentage, trail Rangers (two games in hand) by six points for third and Boston Bruins (one) by three for first wild-card

Team Leaders

Hurricanes

Points: C Sebastian Aho, 56
Goals: Aho, 24
Assists: Aho, 32
Plus-Minus: D Anthony DeAngelo, +19
TOI-per-game: D Jaccob Slavin, 23:56 per game

Additional Notes: Aho, 24, has three goals and seven points during a six-game point-streak in addition to 22 assists and 36 points in his last 29 games; RW Andrei Svechnikov (who has 22 goals and 50 points in 50 games this seaason) has been held scoreless in four of his last seven but has six points over that stretch; LW Teuvo Teravainen has four goals and 12 points during a nine-game point-streak and 18 assists and 30 points in his last 27; C Vincent Trocheck has two goals and four points in his last four; RW Nino Niederreiter has two goals and five points in his last five; C Jesperi Kotkaniemi has gone four straight games without a point; RW Jesper Fast has two goals and four points in his last five

Capitals

Points: LW Alex Ovechkin, 64
Goals: Ovechkin, 32
Assists: C Evgeny Kuznetsov, 35
Plus-Minus: D Nick Jensen, +23
TOI-per-game: D John Carlson, 23:52

Additional Notes: Ovechkin, 36, has a -7 rating in his last three; Carlson has nine assists and 11 points in his last 11 and is coming off of a three-assist performance vs. Maple Leafs; Kuznetsov has a -5 rating in his last two; LW Conor Sheary is currently on a four-game point-drought; C Lars Eller has no points in his last six; C Nicklas Backstrom has assists in back-to-back games but has a -5 rating in his last six

Team Stats

The first graphic shows the possession metrics for the Hurricanes and Capitals entering Thursday’s game. The Hurricanes are better in every area except goals-for compared to expected goals-for, suggesting the Capitals are better at finishing their chances. [Click to enlarge]

The final graphic shows special teams and game averages entering Tuesday. The Hurricanes are favored in nearly every area, though the Capitals have a slight edge in shots-against per game and penalties. The Hurricanes rank first in the NHL on the penalty-kill and in goals-against per game.

Expected Starting Goaltenders

Hurricanes: Antti Raanta, 32

7-3-2
.908 save percentage
2.55 goals-against average (tied for 15th)                                                                              One shutout

3-1-0, .926 save percentage, 2.28 goals-against average in five career games vs. WSH

Capitals: Vitek Vanecek, 26
10-7-5
.915 save percentage (tied for 20th in NHL)
2.36 goals-against average (Ninth)                                                                             Two shutouts

First start since February 1 and appearance in his career vs. Carolina

Injuries/Illnesses

Hurricanes

* DeAngelo (midsection, will miss fourth straight game, week-to-week)

* D Brenden Smith (upper-body, seventh, week-to-week)

Capitals

* LW Carl Hagelin (eye, first, out indefinitely)

* LW Joe Snively (lower-body, first, week-to-week)

Projected Lineups

Hurricanes

Svechnikov — Aho — Teravainen
Jordan Martinook — Trocheck — Martin Necas
Niederreiter — Jordan Staal — Fast
Steven Lorentz — Kotkaniemi — Seth Jarvis

Slavin — Ethan Bear
Brady Skjei — Brett Pesce
Ian Cole — Jalen Chatfield

Raanta
Frederik Andersen

Scratched: C Derek Stepan

Capitals

Ovechkin — Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson
Anthony Mantha — Backstrom — T.J. Oshie
Connor McMichael — Eller — Daniel Sprong
Conor Sheary — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary — Carlson
Dmitry Orlov — Jensen
Trevor Van Riemsdyk — Justin Schultz

Vanecek
Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: LHD Matt Irwin, LW Joe Snively, LHD Michal Kempny

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 watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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1 Response to Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals Preview: Hurricanes Storm Into DC For First Time Since January 2020

  1. Anonymous says:

    Good measuring stick for where this team is at.

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