Preview: Capitals Look to Keep Rolling Against Canes

The Washington Capitals have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL recently. They are having no problem getting enough momentum and offense, and seem able to hold onto their leads and win hockey games.

Coming off their fifth straight win against the New York Islanders Tuesday, Washington is looking to let the good times keep rolling when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes.

Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes

PNC Arena – 7: 30 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – CSNMA, FSCR

2016-17 Season Series:

Nov. 12- Hurricanes 5 Capitals 1

Washington Capitals – 18-7-3, 39 Points

Away Record: 7-3-3

Hot Players: Nicklas Backstrom, Marcus Johansson, Evgeny Kuznetsov, Justin Williams

Projected Lines:


Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Justin Williams

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie

Brett Connolly-Lars Eller-Jakub Vrana

Daniel Winnik-Jay Beagle-Tom Wilson


Karl Alzner-John Carlson

Dmitri Orlov- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik-Nate Schmidt


Philipp Grubauer


Carolina Hurricanes – 12-11-6, 30 Points

Home Record: 8-3-0

Hot Players: Jeff Skinner, Victor Rask, Lee Stempniak, Justin Faulk

Key Injuries: Bryan Bickell, Eddie Lack

Projected Lines:


Joakim Nordstrom-Jordan Staal-Elias Lindholm

Jeff Skinner-Victor Rask-Derek Ryan

Sebastian Aho-Teuvo Teravainen-Lee Stempniak

Brock McGinn-Jay McClement-Viktor Stalberg


Ron Hainsey-Justin Faulk

Jaccob Slavin-Bret Pesce

Noah Hanifin-Matt Tennyson


Cam Ward

Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Washington will need to continue their offensive stride Friday if they want to extend their winning streak to six games. Evgeny Kuznetsov seems to be finding his scoring touch, as is Justin Williams, who has four goals in his last five games. With their top players generating more offense, they should have no problem finding success against the Hurricanes.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Washington’s power play, which has made huge improvements of late, will be facing off against the Hurricanes PK, which is the best in the league with over 92 percent success. While Washington is doing a better job of picking up speed, making strong passes and crashing the net, Carolina has a well-coached penalty kill that can take the puck and run with it, creating more offense.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3) [/miptheme_dropcap]Due to lack of production, Andre Burakovsky will be scratched for the second straight game, and Brett Connolly will continue to take his place on the third line wing. Head coach Barry Trotz told reporters following practice that there was no timetable on the young winger’s return to the lineup. The Swedish winger has gone his last seven games without a point and has just two goals and 10 points this season.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]Philipp Grubauer will get the nod for the Capitals Friday, which makes Holtby available to square off against the tougher, more dangerous Montreal Canadiens Saturday. In his last three starts, Grubauer has been excellent, stopping 84 of 88 shots and boasting a 1.33 GAA. Though a solid backup option that can frequently be counted on as the last line of defense, his last game against Carolina this season was a rough start, where he allowed four goals on 36 shots.

Washington has done an outstanding job expanding its lead and securing a place in the top eight of the Eastern Conference, but if they want to continue their climb to the top, they need to keep winning hockey games and limit Carolina’s chances.

The Hurricanes have won three of their last five, but are nowhere near making a strong push forward in the Metropolitan Division. They are, however, an offensive threat, as seen coming off an 8-6 win against Vancouver Tuesday, and can generate a lot of offense if they are given too much time with the puck. Overall, Washington needs to play with a shutdown style to defeat Carolina.