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Gameday: Capitals vs. Hurricanes

by Michael Smith / Carolina Hurricanes
Michael Smith

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The Carolina Hurricanes are one-for-December, and they look to make it two in a row when the Washington Capitals come to town!

This is the gameday hub, where you can find all the latest news and information related to tonight’s game in one handy location. Make this a regular stop throughout the day, as we update it with notes, videos, photos and more as the day rolls on.

A quick preview of tonight’s Metropolitan Division tilt can be found below. We’ll have updates-a-plenty for you, as the Canes will be on the ice at PNC Arena for a 10:30 a.m. morning skate. Amber Jaye will be anchoring live coverage of the skate on Storm Surge. Check back here for more!

Last updated: 4:30 p.m.



BEFORE THE FACEOFF
4:30 p.m.

Setting the table for the second of four meetings between the Canes and Caps!




RINK REPORT
2:30 p.m.

Amber Jaye went inside each locker room to talk with Jiri Tlusty and Nicklas Backstrom about tonight's Metropolitan Division match-up.




REPLAY: STORM SURGE
2:00 p.m.

Miss the Canes' morning skate today? Amber Jaye anchored live coverage and was visited by special guests Tripp Tracy and John Walton. Check it out below.




WARD, SEKERA OUT VS. CAPS
11:30 a.m.

Cam Ward (lower body) and Andrej Sekera will miss tonight's game versus Washington, head coach Bill Peters confirmed after the team's morning skate.

Drew MacIntyre has been recalled on an emergency basis from Charlotte, and he'll serve as Anton Khudobin's back-up. Khudobin will make his eighth start of the season in net. In five career appearances against the Capitals, he is 3-1-1 with a 2.94 goals-against average. Khudobin started in goal in Washington on Nov. 8, stopping 35 of 39 shots in the team's 4-3 overtime loss.

"[He was] real good. We were awful early. I don’t remember the shots, but I think it was 19-2, or maybe it felt like 19-2 if it wasn’t," Peters said of Khudobin's performance a month ago. "He kept us in the game and gave us a chance, and we got better as it went along. We owe Dobby a good 60-minute effort in front of him.”

Ward's status is day-to-day, and it appears the team just wants to be cautious with his recent injury history.

"I don’t think it’s that serious, to be honest with you. It’s a day-to-day situation. We’re going to take a day off tomorrow, and we gave him yesterday, so now it’s three [days off] in a row, and we think that’s the right thing to do," Peters said. "He’s been down that road before. We didn’t want to push it.”

It's a similar situation with Sekera, who blocked a shot in the waning seconds of the Canes' 2-1 win over Nashville on Tuesday. He's day-to-day, but hopeful for the weekend.

"Real close, but again, not quite 100 percent. Not a lot of strength … and some different things there," Peters said. "I think he’ll benefit from today and tomorrow off, and we’ll hopefully have him for Sunday and Monday.”

One final note from the morning skate: Brett Bellemore joined the team on the ice in a yellow, no-contact sweater. He has missed four games with a lower-body injury.

Here's how the lineup will shake out tonight:

Tlusty-E. Staal-Lindholm
Gerbe-Nash-Semin
Skinner-Rask-Nestrasil
Boychuk-McClement-Dwyer

Gleason-Faulk
Harrison-Liles
Hainsey-Jordan

Khudobin
MacIntyre

Healthy extra: Malone



CANES RECALL DREW MACINTYRE
10:40 a.m.

Drew MacIntyreThe Carolina Hurricanes have recalled goaltender Drew MacIntyre from Charlotte on an emergency basis.

Cam Ward will miss tonight's game with a lower-body injury. Ward did not practice on Wednesday, and head coach Bill Peters said he was "a little sore."

MacIntyre, 31, has posted a 6-8-1 record with a 2.82 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in 15 games with Charlotte this season.

We'll have more after the skate.



CANES HOST CAPS IN METRO DIVISION TILT
6:00 a.m.

CAPITALS vs. HURRICANES
Capitals vs. Hurricanes
PNC ARENA | 7 p.m.
TV: FOX SPORTS CAROLINAS | RADIO: 99.9 FM
ARTICLES
CANES RECALL MACINTYRE FROM CHARLOTTE
TWEETMAIL NO. 42: BEST ROOKIE & MORE
RECAP: CAR 2, NSH 1
VIDEOS
RINK REPORT: DEC. 4
REPLAY: STORM SURGE
LOOK BACK: CAR 2, NSH 1
GAMEDAY LINKS
BUY TICKETS
IN-GAME TWITTER
FIRST GOAL CONTEST
The Carolina Hurricanes’ five-game homestand continues as the Washington Capitals come to Raleigh for a Metropolitan Division match-up, the second of four between the two teams this season.

In the first meeting, the Hurricanes took a four-game winning streak to D.C., and though they didn’t extend that streak, Eric Staal and Elias Lindholm helped the team fight back to erase a two-goal deficit in the third period and earn a point in a 4-3 overtime loss.

“They gave us a hard time in their building,” head coach Bill Peters said. “We have to get off to a good start. They’re a big, heavy team with some skill. They’ve got some guys who can finish.”

The Canes kicked off the month of December with a decisive 2-1 victory over the Central Division-leading Nashville Predators.

“It should send a message to our team. We’re playing some really good hockey teams. Pittsburgh, one of the top teams, Nashville, one of the top teams. Not only are we hanging with them, but we’ve had every chance to win hockey games," Cam Ward, who made 32 saves, said after Tuesday’s game. "It’s a confidence booster. We realize that we always have to play like that; it’s a consistency thing. But we can feel real happy about tonight.”

The Capitals’ stop in the Triangle is their first on a three-game trek that will then take them to New Jersey and Tampa Bay. Washington is 1-3-1 in its last five games, the lone win coming in the latter half of a home-and-home set with the New York Islanders.

Victor Rask earned his second-career NHL assist in Washington on Nov. 8, and he brings a three-game point streak (1g, 3a) into Thursday night’s game. Eric Staal is a point-per-game producer against Washington in his career with 67 points (25g, 42a) in 65 games.

Defenseman Andrej Sekera did not practice on Wednesday; he blocked a shot in the waning seconds of Tuesday’s victory, leaving the ice in quite some pain.

“We’ll know more tomorrow. I think he’s going to get some further examinations done this afternoon to make sure everything is good there,” Peters said after practice. “I would expect him to play, but I’m not sure.”

Cam Ward did not practice on Wednesday either, but he’s expected to start on Thursday. He owns a 16-12-4 record with a 2.56 goals-against average and four shutouts in 33 career appearances against Washington.

“He’s just a little sore,” Peters said of Ward. “We thought it would be a perfect opportunity to get him some rest.”

NOTES: Since the 2005-06 season, the Canes are 27-2-3 when they score three or more goals against the Capitals. … A couple of milestones to watch: Jeff Skinner is two points shy of 200 career NHL points, and Alexander Semin remains a point shy of 500 NHL points.



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