Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals
February 27, 2015 - 7:00 pm ET
PNC Arena - Raleigh, NC
TV - Fox Sports Carolinas
Radio - 99.9 FM The Fan
SB Nation Rival Blog - Japers' Rink
|Division Rank||8th Metro||4th Metro|
|Conference Rank||15th EC||7th EC|
|Streak||Won 1||Lost 2|
|Power Play %||18.5%||23.4%|
|Penalty Kill %||88.0%||80.9%|
|ES Goals For %||42.4%||52.5%|
|ES Corsi For %||51.3%||50.9%|
|ES Save Percentage||.914||.928|
|ES Save Percentage||.901||.887|
Stats via NHL.com and War on Ice
- Another game, another day closer to the end of the Carolina Hurricanes 2014-15 season. Although it was already the case, today the Canes turn even a stronger eye toward the future as they enter tonight's game missing the services of two skilled players that were traded Wednesday for future draft picks and prospects.
- If yesterday's practice is indicative of tonight's start, Alexander Semin will be reunited with Eric Staal and Jordan Staal in the right wing spot vacated by the trade of Jiri Tlusty, and Ron Hainsey will occupy Andrej Sekera's spot next to Justin Faulk on defense. Andrej Nestrasil and Brett Bellemore, previously odd men out in the numbers games, should see regular time in the line-up for the remainder of the season.
- Congratulations to John-Michael Liles, who will be appearing in his 700th career NHL game tonight.
- Tonight's opponent, the Washington Capitals, come in on a mission to maintain their spot in playoff contention and also to keep from dropping three straight games to division opponents. The Caps currently occupy the first wild card spot in the Eastern Conference with a healthy nine-point lead over the Bruins, but they are only three points behind Pittsburgh in the battle for the third playoff spot in the Metro Division.
- Head-to-head the Caps hold the advantage over the Canes this season, winning 4-3 in overtime on November 18th in DC and winning 2-1 in regulation in Raleigh on December 4th. Tonight is the third of four meetings for the season series. The Canes haven't been swept by the Capitals in a season series since 1997-98.
- While the recent losses aren't cause for panic, the Capitals come into tonight's game with a focus on improving their recent slow starts, staying out of the penalty box, and not squandering power play advantages.
- The usual suspects are carrying the torch for the Caps. Nicklas Backstrom leads the league in points (tied with Patrick Kane and Jakub Vorackek) and assists with 64 and 46 respectively. Alex Ovechkin is two points back with 62, but leads the league with 39 goals. Both Backstrom and Ovechkin are noted Canes-killers averaging well over a point-per-game against the Canes throughout their careers. Braden Holtby is 6-3-0 with a 2.08 GAA and one shutout in his eight career games against the Canes, leads the league in starts (tied with Cory Schneider with 52), and is ranked fifth in the league in both wins (29) and GAA (2.20).
- So far the Caps haven't been active in trades leading up to the deadline, but with a need for another top-nine forward some interesting names have been bandied about.
- The Canes are back in black tonight. Anton Khudobin will get the start in net, while Cam Ward sits back and enjoys a pre-game ceremony acknowledging his 500th career NHL game played on Tuesday night. Fans are encouraged to be in their seats by 6:45 for the festivities, and the first 10,000 fans in the building will receive a commemorative poster.
Hurricanes (from Thursday's practice)
Eric Staal - Jordan Staal - Alexander Semin
Jeff Skinner - Riley Nash - Elias Lindholm
Nathan Gerbe - Victor Rask - Andrej Nestrasil
Brad Malone - Jay McClement - Patrick Dwyer
Ron Hainsey - Justin Faulk
John-Michael Liles - Brett Bellemore
Michal Jordan - Tim Gleason
Injuries and Scratches: Ryan Murphy (IR leg), Chris Terry
Capitals (from Wednesday's game):
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Andre Burakovsky
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Troy Brouwer
Brooks Laich - Eric Fehr - Joel Ward
Jason Chimera - Michael Latta - Tom Wilson
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Karl Alzner - Matt Niskanen
Cam Schilling - Mike Green
Injuries and Scratches: Dmitry Orlov (LTIR wrist), John Erskine (IR neck), Nate Schmidt (shoulder), Jay Beagle, Jack Hillen, Aaron Volpatti