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Capitals at Hurricanes preview

Washington looks to remain hot on road; Carolina seeks to avoid fourth straight loss

by Harvey Valentine / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (27-7-5) at HURRICANES (22-14-2)



The Game

The Carolina Hurricanes will look to avoid tying a season-long four-game losing streak when they host the Washington Capitals at PNC Arena on Saturday.

The Hurricanes, who lost four straight games from Nov. 2-9, have lost three straight after going 6-0-1 in their previous seven games. They lost 5-3 at the New York Rangers on Friday and open a season-long seven-game homestand.

Washington defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 in overtime on Friday and is 5-2-0 in its past seven games and 11-3-0 in its past 14.

The Capitals are a league-best 16-4-1 on the road this season.


Players to watch 

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin has four points (two goals, two assists) in his past four games.

Hurricanes forward Lucas Wallmark has seven points (three goals, four assists) in a five-game point streak.


They said it

"We haven't seen them in a while. We know how they play. They always play hard against us. They're very hard to play against. They're a lot like (Columbus) where they've got a lot of guys that buzz and they forecheck hard. They can skate well and when you make turnovers, they can make plays." -- Capitals forward T.J. Oshie on the Hurricanes

"That's the great thing about hockey. You get to come right back the next night against the best team in the League. Hopefully we're going to be able to step up to the plate." -- Hurricanes defenseman Jaccob Slavin


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Lars Eller -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Jonas Siegenthaler -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Christian Djoos -- Radko Gudas

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Travis Boyd

Injured: Michal Kempny (illness)


Hurricanes projected lineup

Andrei Svechnikov -- Jordan Staal -- Warren Foegele

Nino Niederreiter -- Sebastian Aho -- Teuvo Teravainen

Ryan Dzingel -- Erik Haula -- Martin Necas

Brock McGinn -- Lucas Wallmark -- Jordan Martinook

Jaccob Slavin -- Dougie Hamilton

Joel Edmundson -- Brett Pesce

Jake Gardiner -- Trevor van Riemsdyk

Petr Mrazek

James Reimer

Scratched: Haydn Fleury

Injured: None


Status report

Neither team held a morning skate. …. Kempny could return after not playing against the Blue Jackets.


Stat pack

Aho has 13 points (nine goals, four assists) in his past nine games. ... Teravainen has seven assists in a six-game point streak. … The Capitals are 5-0-1 in the second half of back-to-backs. ... Ovechkin needs one power-play goal to pass Teemu Selanne (255) for sole possession of third place on the NHL all-time list.

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