GAME: Carolina Hurricanes (19-27-12-3) at Washington Capitals (19-33-8-2).
TIME: Wednesday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Washington Capitals haven't had much success this season - except when
they face the Carolina Hurricanes.
Washington looks to continue its domination of Carolina when the teams meet
for the sixth and final time this season.
The Capitals have won just 19 of 62 games this season, but four of those
victories have come at the expense of the Hurricanes. Washington has outscored
Carolina 23-9 in going 5-0-1 in the series dating to last season.
The last meeting between the teams, a 3-3 tie in Raleigh on Feb. 12,
featured hard hits, numerous penalties, ejections and several on-ice tussles.
With neither club in the playoff race in the Eastern Conference, their final
meeting of the season could have the same story line.
"These games are intense, they're emotional," Washington forward Anson
Carter said. "There's a lot of 1-on-1 battles in there that are being
hard-fought by both teams."
Carolina comes into this contest riding a four-game point streak (2-0-1-1)
after registering a 2-1 road win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday.
Ron Francis scored his 545th goal, surpassing Maurice Richard for 20th place
on the NHL's career list, to lead the Hurricanes.
"I've always considered myself more of a playmaker than a goal scorer, and
when a playmaker hears his name mentioned alongside Maurice 'The Rocket'
Richard, that's extremely special for me," Francis said. "It's quite an
Francis, standing alone at the side of the net, gave Carolina the lead at
4:47 of the third period after Jeff O'Neill's shot hit off the end boards and
deflected to him.
Washington had its season-high, four-game unbeaten streak snapped with a 6-3
home loss to the Southeast Division-leading Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.
STANDINGS: Hurricanes - 53 points, 4th place, 23 PB, Southeast Division.
Capitals - 48 points, 5th place, 28 PB, Southeast Division.
TEAM LEADERS: Hurricanes - Josef Vasicek, 16 goals; Justin Williams, 23
assists; Vasicek and Williams, 32 points; Jesse Boulerice, 95 PIM. Capitals -
Robert Lang, 28 goals, 45 assists and 73 points; Jason Doig, 103 PIM.
SPECIAL TEAMS (through Feb. 23): Hurricanes - Power play: 11.8 percent (33
for 280), 30th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.5 percent (216 for 265), 26th.
Capitals - Power play: 19.7 percent (51 for 259), 5th. Penalty killing: 81.6
percent (239 for 293), 25th.
GOALTENDERS: Hurricanes - Kevin Weekes (19-22-10, 6 SO, 2.24 GAA); Arturs
Irbe (no appearances). Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (16-29-7, 2, 2.89); Sebastien
Charpentier (0-1-0, 4.05).
SEASON SERIES: Capitals, 4-0-1.
LAST MEETING: Feb. 12; 3-3. At Raleigh, N.C., Carter put the Capitals ahead
3-2 with a power-play goal at 8:03 of the third period, but Pavel Brendl scored
off a rebound with 5:03 remaining to lift the Hurricanes to the draw.
ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Hurricanes - 8-15-4-1 on the road; Capitals - 10-15-5-1