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Carolina
Hurricanes
40-34-8
Washington
Capitals
28-40-14

game preview

Hurricanes-Capitals Preview

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:51 AM

Associated Press

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Hurricanes-Capitals Preview
Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals

The way the Carolina Hurricanes played in their first two games at home, they seem to be glad their next game at the RBC Center isn't until Oct. 25.

The defending Stanley Cup champions will try to get their first victory when they begin a seven-game road trip Saturday against the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.

Carolina (0-1-1) lost 4-0 to New Jersey on Friday, two days after a season-opening 3-2 overtime loss to Buffalo. The Hurricanes won their first seven home games a year ago en route to their first championship.

"I think it's a good time to get out on the road," coach Peter Laviolette said. "There's always less pressure to put on a show when you get on the road and you can get back to more fundamentals."

The Hurricanes are only 1-for-14 on the power play this season and are concerned about their lack of offense. Carolina's produced the third-most goals in the NHL last season.

"We're not working hard, we're not digging in," captain Rod Brind'Amour said. "It's a little bit from everybody that's a little off. You look at the end result and it's not acceptable. The games come too fast and furious to dwell too much on it, but we know we have to be a lot better."

Laviolette also indicated he is having trouble figuring out his line combinations. The Hurricanes are hoping to sort out their problems on a road trip that includes games against the other four teams in the Southeast Division.

"Road trips can sometimes be great for you," forward Kevyn Adams said. "You go in there and everybody is against you, so you just play and pull together. That's what we need right now."

The Hurricanes went 5-3 against the Capitals last season, including 3-1 on the road. Brind'Amour had six goals and five assists in the season series and Cory Stillman - who is out with shoulder problems - had eight assists in those contests for Carolina.

Capitals star Alexander Ovechkin amassed three goals and seven assists against the Hurricanes in his rookie season.

The reigning NHL Rookie of the Year failed to score in the season opener, though, as Washington (0-1-0) fell 5-2 at the New York Rangers on Thursday.

Washington went 0-for-8 on the power play and Ovechkin's line, which included Dainius Zubrus and Richard Zednik, finished the game at minus-4.

"We made lots of mistakes on the power play," he said. "We must work on it. We had lots of chances. We must score.

"I don't know what happened to our line."

Ovechkin never finished at worse than minus-2 in any game during his rookie season.

Washington coach Glen Hanlon has already indicated right wing Chris Clark may replace Zednik on the top line. Clark registered five shots on goal and assisted on Alexander Semin's goal in the second period.

"I thought Clarkie played well (Thursday) night," Hanlon said. "We'll take a look at it and see who we have who can play and we'll go from there."

Capitals goaltender Olaf Kolzig went 15-14-6 with a .909 save percentage in 35 starts at home last season. He allowed 10 goals in his final two starts versus Carolina last season - both losses.

2006-2007 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 22 '07 WSH 3 at CAR 4 A. Ladd
Mar 09 '07 CAR 3 at WSH 0 A. Ladd
Jan 27 '07 CAR 3 at WSH 7 E. Fehr
Jan 26 '07 WSH 2 at CAR 6 J. Williams
Jan 18 '07 WSH 5 at CAR 2 A. Semin
Nov 17 '06 CAR 4 at WSH 1 R. Brind'Amour
Nov 09 '06 WSH 0 at CAR 5 E. Cole
Oct 07 '06 CAR 2 at WSH 5 A. Ovechkin