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Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes @NHLdotcom
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GAME: Washington Capitals (2-2-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (1-2-0).

TIME: Wednesday, 7:00 p.m. EDT.

Having bounced back from a pair of ugly losses, the Washington Capitals hope to build off their latest win when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes at the RBC Center.

Washington is coming off a 3-2 home victory over the New York Rangers on Monday. Steve Eminger and Petr Sykora notched the first goal of their NHL careers in the second period and rookie Alex Ovechkin scored the game-winner on a third-period power play.

"I saw the puck come to me and I thought: 'Oh, my God, the puck (is coming) to me, I must shoot it," Ovechkin said. "I got lucky."

The Capitals have posted 3-2 wins over Columbus and New York around two blowout losses to Atlanta - 7-3 and 8-1.

Olaf Kolzig allowed all 15 goals in the home-and-home sweep to the Thrashers, but he's made a combined 67 saves in the two victories, including 30 on Monday.

"For us to be competitive, we need everything to fall into place at once," Kolzig said. "We need to be the hardest-working team out there every night."

Carolina, meanwhile, hopes to rebound from a heartbreaking loss.

After notching their first win of the season in a 3-2 overtime home victory over Pittsburgh on Friday, the Hurricanes suffered a 3-2 road loss to the New York Islanders on Saturday.

With the game tied in the third period, Carolina defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky attempted to deflect a shot and protect his goalie, but instead inadvertently helped the puck get past Cam Ward to put the Islanders ahead.

"I didn't see the puck at first," Tverdovsky said. "When I saw it, I just reacted and tried to get my stick on it and poke it away. I'm sorry it happened."

If the Hurricanes are going to contend in the Southeast Division with talented teams like Florida and Atlanta, they may need to quickly improve their power play.

The Hurricanes are 0-for-15 with the man advantage this season.

"We're just not getting that goal that could do some damage," Hurricanes coach Peter Laviolette said. "The power play hasn't really produced and it's cost us."

STANDINGS (through Oct. 10): Capitals - 4 points, 2nd place (tied), 2 PB, Southeast Division. Hurricanes - 2 points, 5th place, 4 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals - Ovechkin, 3 goals and 5 points; Jeff Halpern, 4 assists; Eminger, 11 PIM. Hurricanes - Eric Staal, 4 goals and 4 points; Tverdovsky, 2 assists; Niclas Wallin and Mike Commodore, 6 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Oct. 10): Capitals - Power play: 20.7 percent (6 for 29), 12th in NHL. Penalty killing: 75.0 percent (30 for 40), 26th. Hurricanes - Power play: 0 percent (0 for 15), 30th. Penalty killing: 77.8 percent (14 for 18), 21st.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Kolzig (2-2-0, 0 SO, 4.29 GAA); Brent Johnson (no appearances). Hurricanes - Ward (1-1-0, 0, 2.52); Martin Gerber (0-1-0, 0, 6.00).

2003-04 SEASON SERIES: Capitals, 4-1-1.

LAST MEETING: Feb. 25, 2004; Hurricanes, 2-1. At Washington, Erik Cole and Jeff O'Neill scored goals for the Hurricanes, who outshot the Capitals 33-19.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 0-1-0 on the road; Hurricanes - 1-0-0 at home.

Associated Press

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