GAME: Washington Capitals (15-29-5-2) at Carolina Hurricanes (17-23-9-2).
TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Washington Capitals haven't done much right this season. Yet when they
play the Carolina Hurricanes they look like world beaters.
The underachieving Capitals will look to make it four wins in as many tries
against the Hurricanes when the teams meet at the RBC Center.
Despite a roster loaded with talent, the Capitals have virtually no shot of
making the playoffs, prompting ownership to begin trading off high-priced
But for some reason Washington has been tremendous against Carolina,
outscoring the Hurricanes 13-3 in its three victories.
The Capitals, who owner Ted Leonsis said could lose up to $20 million this
season, began unloading their star players on Friday as Jaromir Jagr was sent
to the New York Rangers for Anson Carter.
Washington is 1-2 since the trade, but the win was a big one as it went into
Madison Square Garden and beat Jagr and the Rangers 2-1 on Wednesday.
Olaf Kolzig, another likely candidate to be moved before the trade deadline,
was outstanding, stopping 32 shots.
``We got back to playing blue-collar Caps hockey,'' Kolzig said. ``Sometimes
the harder-working team can beat the team with talent. That's what we did
through two periods, frustrate them.''
Washington, which snapped a three-game losing streak, is 4-6-2-1 in January.
Carolina has struggled this month, winning just five of 14 games (5-8-1).
However, the Hurricanes are coming off one of their biggest wins of the
season, Tuesday's 2-0 victory over first-place Toronto which ended a two-game
Kevin Weekes continued his stellar campaign by making 32 saves for his
career-best sixth shutout of the season.
Weekes has the second most shutouts in the NHL this season, four fewer than
New Jersey's Martin Brodeur. Weekes is 17-17-7 this season and is the only
goalie to win a game for the Hurricanes.
He's never had a .500 season in his seven-year career.
``It would be important, but everything is relative. I've never had the
luxury of playing for the Dallas Stars or the New Jersey Devils,'' said Weekes,
who has also played for Florida, Tampa Bay, the New York Islanders and
``Sometimes adversity provides opportunity. I've played on teams that were
very young, much like myself. There aren't many young players that can step in
and play for the Colorado Avalanche when they are in their peak, especially a
``Sometimes it takes a team being at rock-bottom to get that opportunity.''
Weekes has had to be at his best because the Hurricanes are last in the NHL
with 94 goals in 51 games.