Capital Eyes On Carolina – Game 38

Washington Capitals (20-12-5) v. Carolina Hurricanes (15-14-4)

7:00 PM EST – RBC Center – Raleigh, North Carolina

TV/Radio: CSN-DC+; Caps Radio 1500

Season series:

October 27 – Washington (3) – Carolina (0)

November 24 – Washington (3) – Carolina (2)

November 28 – Washington (3) – Carolina (2) SO

Last game: The prelude to the Winter Classic was a classic in itself. Pascal Dupuis scored the game-winning shootout goal in the seventh round to lift the Pittsburgh Penguins to a 3-2 victory over the Capitals. Mike Green and Mike Knuble scored for Washington.

Possible lineup for Washington:

Forwards

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Knuble

Laich-Perreault-Semin

Chimera-Johansson-Fehr

Beagle-Steckel-A.Gordon

Defense

Hannan-Green

Alzner-Carlson

Erskine-Poti

Goal

Neuvirth/Varlamov

Possible lineup for Carolina:

Forwards

Staal-Cole-Skinner

Sutter-Ruutu-Jokinen

Dwyer-Samsonov-LaRose

Carter-Boychuk-Bodie

Defense

Gleason-Corvo

Pitkanen-McBain

Harrison-White

Goal

Ward/Peters

Outlook: It may seem easy for the Caps to overlook their next two opponents in favor of the Winter Classic next Saturday, but with the Southeast Division standings now changing every day, a win against the Hurricanes is just as important.

As of Saturday, the Capitals sit in second place in their division despite being tied in points with Tampa Bay, who has two games in hand. Atlanta is just two points behind Washington, while Carolina is just 11 points back of the Caps.

Washington will need to find its power play, which is 6-for-49 in its last 13 games. Mike Green snapped his own goalless drought Thursday with the man advantage, scoring for the first time since November 14. Perhaps Alex Ovechkin can score a power play goal of his own at RBC Center since he has yet to score one at Verizon Center this season.

Carolina capped off a five-game winning streak with two straight losses to Tampa Bay and Montreal, Washington’s opponent Tuesday. Captain Eric Staal has six points in his last five games and Erik Cole has a three-game point streak of his own (1G, 2A).

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