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Game Day Hurricanes at Capitals: Ready to go for five?

The Hurricanes hit the road and hope to make it five-in-a-row as they take on the Capitals tonight.

Show of hands if you're ready for five in a row.
Show of hands if you're ready for five in a row.

Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals
November 8, 2014 - 8:00 pm ET
Verizon Center - Washington, DC
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Japers' Rink

Fancy Stats

Hurricanes Capitals
Record 4-6-2 5-5-3
Points 10 13
Division Rank 7th Metro 6th Metro
Conference Rank 14th EC 12th EC
Streak Won 4 Won 1

Power Play % 17.8% 28.6%
Penalty Kill % 81.0% 78.3%
Goals/Game 2.33 3.08
Goals Against/Game 3.08 2.85
Shots/Game 28.3 30.2
Shots Against/Game 27.3 26.4
ES Goals For % 40.0% 50.9%
ES Corsi For % 51.3% 52.2%
PIM/Game 10.1 10.8

Goaltender Khudobin Peters
Record 0-3-1 1-2-1
ES Save Percentage .891 .904
GAA 3.24 3.04

Goaltender Ward Holtby
Record 4-3-1 4-3-2
ES Save Percentage .895 .904
GAA 2.72 2.59

Game Notes

  • The Hurricanes and Capitals both arrive in DC fresh off Friday night wins. It took overtime for the Canes to defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets, but the Canes arrived at Dulles before the Caps left Chicago after ending a five-game winless skid with a regulation win against the Blackhawks in a Winter Classic warm-up.
  • Tonight marks the first meeting of the regular season between the Metro Division rivals. Canes fans will recall the preseason loss to the Capitals where Jeff Skinner spun himself into Matt Niskanen's elbow, causing Skinner to miss the first four games with a concussion. The teams met five times last season, with the road team claiming victory in each one.
  • How Swede it is... Elias Lindholm has four goals and six points in his last four games, and Victor Rask has two goals and three points in his last three games.
  • On the milestone watch, Jeff Skinner now has 99 career NHL goals, and Alexander Semin is three points away from 500 career NHL points.
  • There likely won't be many changes on either roster barring bumps and bruises or a need for fresh legs. For the Canes, the most significant line-up change will be Anton Khudobin getting the start in net after five straight starts (and four wins) by Cam Ward.  UPDATE 11:45 am: No morning skate for the Canes. Brad Malone will replace Chris Terry in the line-up. Jeff Skinner will move to the Victor Rask line.
  • In the opposing net, with Braden Holtby facing a season high 40 shots (and winning the Caps "Honest Abe" award which must be their equivalent of the fireman hat), the Canes will probably see old pal and former teammate Justin Peters for the first time. Pete Dawg was selected by the Canes in the second round of the 2004 draft and played 68 games for the Canes between 2009 and 2014 where he registered three shutouts, a 3.05 GAA, and .904 save percentage. He signed with the Capitals in free agency over the summer, and has one win in three starts.
  • In keeping with history, the power play remains an area of strength for the Capitals, where they rank second in the NHL behind Pittsburgh with a 28.6% success rate.
  • Joel Ward potted the game winner last night and leads the Caps with seven goals.
  • The Caps have quite a few "Canes Killers" - Nicklas Backstrom (45 points in 37 games), Karl Alzner (5), Troy Brouwer (12), and Marcus Johansson (13) have more career points against the Hurricanes than against any other NHL team. Alex Ovechkin has 70 points against in 57 career games.

Projected line-ups

Hurricanes (from this morning's reports)

Jiri Tlusty - Eric Staal - Alexander Semin
Nathan Gerbe - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Zach Boychuk
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer

Andrej Sekera - Justin Faulk
Tim Gleason - Jay Harrison
Ron Hainsey - Brett Bellemore
John-Michael Liles

Anton Khudobin
Cam Ward

Injuries and Scratches: Jordan Staal (IR broken fibula), Tim Gleason (upper body), Chris Terry (healthy)

Capitals (from last night's game)

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Marcus Johansson - Andre Burakovsky- Troy Brouwer
Jason Chimera - Brooks Laich - Joel Ward
Liam O`Brien - Michael Latta - Jay Beagle

Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Nate Schmidt - Mike Green

Braden Holtby
Justin Peters

Eric Fehr, Evgeny Kuznetsov and Jack Hillen as healthy scratches, and Dmitry Orlov, John Erskine and Aaron Volpatti all on the shelf with injuries.

Note the later start time. Safe travels to all the Canes fans that are headed up to DC today to watch this one in person. We'll have the game thread ready to roll by 7:30 pm. See you there.