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Washington
Capitals
Carolina
Hurricanes
SO
43 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
WSH ()
CAR ()
game preview

Caps, Hurricanes set to conclude season series

Thursday, 03.25.2010 / 7:00 PM

Brian Compton - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

CAPITALS (49-14-10) at HURRICANES (30-34-9)

Last 10: Washington 7-1-2; Carolina 4-4-2.

Season series -- This is the sixth and final meeting between the Southeast Division rivals. Washington has won three of the first five contests, but Carolina won the most recent meeting, a 4-3 overtime decision on March 18 at the RBC Center.

Big story -- The Capitals continue to inch closer to the Presidents' Trophy, as they now have 108 points -- which ties a franchise record that was set last season -- following Wednesday's 4-3 shootout win against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Chicago is nine points behind the Caps in the chase for the best record in the League.

Team Scope:

Capitals -- Washington had another epic battle with Pittsburgh on Wednesday night, and once again it was the Caps who got the last word. Jordan Staal erased Washington's 3-2 lead with 3:06 left in regulation, but the Capitals got a goal from Mike Knuble in the fourth round of the shootout to secure the team's third win against Pittsburgh in three tries this season.

"It was mentally a very important win for us," Caps forward Alex Ovechkin said. "We know they have a very good team. They miss (Sergei) Gonchar and (Evgeni) Malkin, but they're still the Stanley Cup champions."

Hurricanes -- Carolina will be looking to avoid its third straight loss on Thursday night. After dropping a 5-3 decision on home ice against Buffalo on Sunday, the Hurricanes came up short on Tuesday in a 3-2 overtime loss at Tampa Bay. Martin St. Louis scored the game-winner for the Lightning.

While it's highly unlikely they'll make the playoffs, the Hurricanes -- ravaged by injuries earlier this season -- are 16-8-1 in their last 25 games.

"We just have to try and do what we've done so well for a long time and put this loss behind us," Carolina coach Paul Maurice said.

Who's hot -- Caps forward Alexander Semin has three goals in his last four games. … Rookie defenseman Jamie McBain has five points in his first four NHL contests with the Hurricanes.

Injury report -- Washington defenseman Milan Jurcina (sports hernia) is expected to miss another month, while forward Boyd Gordon (back) should return shortly. … Hurricanes goalie Cam Ward (back) is out and defenseman Tim Gleason (foot) could be done for the season. Alexandre Picard (upper body) is week-to-week.

Stat pack -- The main reason why Washington has won all three meetings with Pittsburgh this season? Easy. The Caps have outscored the Pens 8-1 in the third period and overtime.

Puck drop -- "I don't know how often you get down 2-0 in a shootout and you come back. It's thinking, 'Oh man, we're done, there's no way.' But, I don't think we ever think that. I think that's the kind of group we have." -- Caps coach Bruce Boudreau
2009-2010 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 25 '10WSH 2 at CAR 3 - SOC. LaRose
Mar 18 '10WSH 3 at CAR 4 - OTR. Whitney
Mar 10 '10CAR 3 at WSH 4 - OTT. Fleischmann
Dec 28 '09CAR 6 at WSH 3B. Sutter
Dec 11 '09CAR 3 at WSH 4 - OTM. Green
Nov 30 '09WSH 3 at CAR 2N. Backstrom
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
A. Ovechkin64455398+4483116
N. Backstrom74296089+3348114
A. Semin65353873+296275
M. Green69175471+335293
B. Laich72243256+1332113
T. Fleischmann62212849+82674
M. Knuble62262147+235765
B. Morrison72123042+223833
E. Belanger70142539+03233
E. Fehr62211637+212033
J. Chimera70141731-17711
T. Poti6341822+234220
M. Bradley7081321+54503
J. Schultz6531619+373200
J. Corvo4461117-81250
C. Clark3841115-42701
D. Steckel724913+51911
S. Morrisonn6111112+136201
B. Pothier414711+121011
B. Gordon34459+41200
S. Walker39538-33011
M. Perreault18257+4400
J. Erskine46156+166400
T. Sloan36235-11800
J. Carlson18145+12600
K. Aucoin9145-2000
K. Alzner21055-2800
M. Jurcina27044+01400
A. Giroux9123+3400
C. Bourque21033-61000
Q. Laing31202+22100
J. Beagle6112-1200
K. Wilson2022+1000
B. Kane3000-1200
A. Gordon2000-2000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
J. Theodore4227-7-610712142.76.912
S. Varlamov2213-3-5566192.59.910
M. Neuvirth179-4-0404642.75.914
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
J. Jokinen73273158+134105
E. Staal62233558-160122
R. Whitney72213455-32675
J. Pitkanen6563945-107011
M. Cullen60122840+02611
B. Sutter64181735+0253
T. Ruutu54142135-45051
S. Samsonov64141428-133222
T. Kostopoulos7481119+39200
T. Gleason6151419+07810
C. LaRose4871017-81400
R. Brind'Amour737916-273222
B. Pothier5351015+31412
A. Picard5441115+02611
E. Cole329312-92321
J. Corvo344812-61040
A. Ward6011011-175400
P. Dwyer506410-2602
A. Alberts622810+77400
B. Carson462810+31000
Z. Boychuk23358+3000
S. Yelle59437-62800
B. Rodney14167-3400
J. McBain6246+3011
J. Harrison30156-83900
J. Tlusty20156+0600
S. Walker33325-42310
N. Wallin47055-52600
J. Samson6011-2800
T. Conboy11000-52200
S. Goertzen6000-2500
D. Bowman2000-1200
O. Osala1000+0000
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
C. Ward4114-21-510612202.74.913
M. Legace2510-6-4606562.72.909
J. Peters96-3-0232412.83.905
M. Leighton71-4-0251644.29.848