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game preview

Hurricanes at Capitals preview

Washington seeks third straight win; Carolina goes for second victory to start season

by Harvey Valentine / NHL.com Independent Correspondent

HURRICANES (1-0-0) at CAPITALS (2-0-0)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, FS-CR, NHL.TV

 

The Game

The Washington Capitals go for their third straight win when they host the Carolina Hurricanes in their home opener at Capital One Arena on Saturday.

Carolina, which opened with a 4-3 shootout win against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, eliminated Washington with a 4-3 overtime win in Game 7 of the Eastern Conference First Round in the Stanley Cup Playoffs in April.

The Capitals, who are playing the second of back-to-back games after a 2-1 win at the New York Islanders on Friday, are 15-1-1 in their past 17 home openers.

 

Players to watch

Hurricanes defenseman Dougie Hamilton had two assists and the shootout-deciding goal in the win against Montreal.

Capitals forward Jakub Vrana has a goal in each of his past two games.

 

They said it

"I'm sure there will be some emotion here. … I know it's Game 2, but points are pretty valuable, so I don't think anyone is going to be going out of their way to take penalties. But I think it will be an emotional, physical game, like they always are when we play these guys." -- Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour on the potential carryover from the playoff series  

"We knew that going into back-to-backs I can't overtax too many of our big guys. You need to have four lines if you want to give yourself a chance in that second game. Now we've got our starting goaltender for the home opener. I expect our crowd will give us a huge lift … and it should be an exciting night for us." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden

 

Hurricanes projected lineup  

Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Andrei Svechnikov -- Jordan Staal -- Brock McGinn

Ryan Dzingel -- Erik Haula -- Martin Necas

Warren Foegele -- Lucas Wallmark -- Jordan Martinook

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Joel Edmundson -- Brett Pesce

Jake Gardiner -- Haydn Fleury

James Reimer

Petr Mrazek

Scratched: None

Injured: Trevor van Riemsdyk (shoulder)

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Chandler Stephenson -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Jonas Siegenthaler -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Martin Fehervary -- Radko Gudas

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Tyler Lewington, Travis Boyd

Injured: Michal Kempny (hamstring)

Suspended: Evgeny Kuznetsov

 

Status report

Brind'Amour said van Riemsdyk is not day to day, "but it's definitely getting closer." … Reimer starts in the first of back-to-back games for Carolina, which hosts the Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. … Kuznetsov will serve the third of a three-game suspension for inappropriate conduct during the offseason. … Reirden has said Kempny will likely not play until next week. 

 

Stat pack 

Aho has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) and has at least one point in 10 of his 12 regular-season games against the Capitals. … Eller and Carlson each has three assists in two games. … Holtby is one shutout from passing Olie Kolzig (35) for the most in Capitals history. … Ovechkin is one power-play goal from passing Luc Robitaille (247) for fourth-most in NHL history.

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