The Washington Capitals have gotten hot at the right time. They hope to stay that way when the Carolina Hurricanes come to the Verizon Center in one of eight games on Friday's NHL schedule.
The Caps have moved into first place in the Southeast Division by winning their last six games, including a 5-0 wipeout of the Edmonton Oilers on Wednesday. The Hurricanes are battling for one of the final playoff spots in the East and earned a point in a 3-2 overtime loss to Atlanta on Wednesday.
The 'Canes-Caps game is one of three that start at 7 p.m. ET. In the others, Boston visits the New York Islanders, who've been off since beating Toronto 4-3 in overtime on Tuesday, and Los Angeles continues its road trip in Columbus. The Kings won 2-1 at Detroit on Wednesday, the same night the Blue Jackets blew a 3-0 lead and lost 4-3 to St. Louis in overtime.
Three more games get under way a half-hour later. The Thrashers host New Jersey in a game between two teams desperate for points to remain in the playoff race -- the Devils have been off since a 2-1 home loss to Ottawa on Tuesday. The Senators are at Tampa Bay, which had a day to savor a 4-3 shootout win against Chicago, in a game that can be seen in Canada on RDS. Also, Edmonton continues its road trip in Detroit.
At 8:30 p.m. ET, Minnesota visits Dallas in a battle of Western Conference playoff contenders. Another playoff hopeful in the West, the Anaheim Ducks, travels to Colorado for a 9 p.m. ET matchup after beating the New York Rangers 5-2 at home on Wednesday.