Last season, it seemed like the Carolina Hurricanes were quite often the tonic that cured all ailments. Teams with losing streaks would play the Canes and that would more than likely be the end of said losing streak.
This season is a bit different in that the Hurricanes seem to be catching several teams in the midst of hot streaks. Such is the case again tonight as the Canes, (31-26-10) visit the Washington Capitals, (38-20-10) a team currently riding a six game winning streak.
The Caps have endured their fair share of adversity this season, but have recently battled their way past Tampa Bay to reclaim first in the Southeast Division. They are also now in second place in the Eastern Conference.
The Hurricanes remain in ninth place in the conference, but are no longer tied in points with Buffalo. The Sabres defeated the Boston Bruins last night in OT and jumped over the New York Rangers for seventh place. Both teams have 74 points while the Canes have 72.
Carolina has two games in hand on the Blueshirts, but the club still needs a huge effort tonight. Needless to say, ninth place is not where you want to be at the end the season.
Believe it or not, the Canes have done some line tinkering since our last game preview. During the third period on Wednesday night, Paul Maurice switched things up a bit and has reportedly decided to keep things like he had them at the end of the Atlanta game.
The team also has recalled Drayson Bowman from the Charlotte Checkers, apparently an effort to inject some extra energy, (or scoring?) into the fourth line. Check out the projected new lines for the Canes after the jump:
- Stillman, Staal, Ruutu
- Skinner, Jokinen, Cole
- LaRose, Sutter, Tlusty
- Bowman, Dwyer, Bodie(Samson)
- Gleason, Harrison
- Corvo, Allen
- Pitkanen, McBain
Cam Ward will get the start in net. Ward is 13-7-4 with three shutouts in 25 career starts against Washington.
Speaking of being red hot, goalie Brayden Holtby will start for the Capitals. The rookie is 4-0-1 in his last five starts and has stopped 130 of his last 133 shots.
|2010 - Cam Ward||59||3413||28||21||153||2.69||1899||1746||.919||2|
|2010 - Braden Holtby||10||493||6||2||16||1.95||217||201||.926||1|
Nicklas Backstrom is expected to be out as he recovers from a broken thumb and Mike Green is still out, but the Caps were very active at the deadline and picked up ample reinforcements in Jason Arnott and Dennis Wideman. They also scooped up Marco Sturm off of waivers.
- Ovechkin, Johansson, Knuble
- Sturm, Arnott, Semin
- Chimera, Laich, Fehr
- Hendricks, Gordon, Bradley
- Alzner, Carlson
- Schultz, Hannan
- Erskine, Wideman
For even more info about the Capitals, you should also check out our SBN partners, Japers' Rink.
After earning a respectable 3-2-1 record against this club last year, the Hurricanes have yet to beat Washington this season, (0-3-1).
The game will be broadcast locally by FS Carolinas starting at 7. We will have the always positive Open Game Thread cranked up at 6:30.