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Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes: Preview, Stats, Notes, How to Watch

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The home stand continues as the Caps come to Raleigh for the second time this season.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals (18-7-3) vs Carolina Hurricanes (12-11-6)
Friday, December 16, 2016 - 7:30 PM
PNC Arena - Raleigh, North Carolina
Fox Sports Carolinas, 99.9 The Fan, WRALSportsFan App
Rival SB Nation Blog – Japers’ Rink

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 21-15-7 29-9-4
Points 49 62
Division Rank 6 Metro 2 Metro
Conference Rank 9 EC 2 EC
Last 10 Games 6-4-0 6-4-0
Streak Won Loss 1
Goals/Game 2.77 3.31
Goals Against/Game 2.63 2.24
Shots/Game 30.6 30.3
Shots Against/Game 27.6 29.8
Faceoff % 51.7% 47.7%
Power Play % (Rank) 17.2% (18) 26.0% (1)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 88.7% (1) 83.0% (10)
ES Corsi For % 52.1% 55.1%
ES PDO 99.4 101.3
PIM/Game 05:95 08:93

Projected Starting Goaltenders

Category Cam Ward Petr Mrazek
Category Cam Ward Petr Mrazek
Record 10-8-6 9-6-3
ES Save % .914 .912
GAA 2.30 2.98

Projected Backups

Category Michael Leighton Jimmy Howard
Category Michael Leighton Jimmy Howard
Record 2-1-0 5-7-1
ES Save % .857 .937
GAA 3.53 1.95

Game Notes

  • The Hurricanes will look to continue their winning ways at home and make it 8 straight. Coming off the heels of one of the craziest games we’ve seen inside PNC Arena in years against the Canucks (8-6 win), the Canes will surely be fired up for a vital contest against the Caps.
  • On November 12th the Hurricanes obliterated the Caps 5-1 at PNC to start their 7 game win streak at home. The Caps surely have not forgotten that game and will seek revenge tonight.
  • Oddly, this is the Caps’ final visit to Raleigh this season. Both of the remaining games between the two clubs, on January 23 and February 7, are in the nation’s capital.
  • This game is huge for both teams in regards to the standings. The Hurricanes need to defeat the teams ahead of them in the Metro if they want to climb the standings. Right now they sit 9 points behind Washington for the final wild card spot. The Capitals, meanwhile, need to take care of business with teams below them in the standings in order to keep up with the teams in front of them, all of whom are on hot streaks of ridiculous proportions.
  • Tonight will mark the second game in the current home stand for the Hurricanes and is the front end of a back to back situation. Carolina holds an 8-3-0 record at home this season, which bodes well as the majority of their remaining games will be at home.
  • A promotion to the top line was just what the doctor ordered (pun totally intended) for Derek Ryan, who brings a career-high four-game points streak into tonight’s game. Ryan has seven points (3 goals, 4 assists) in his past four games, including three assists against the Canucks on Tuesday, and is one of four players tied for second in power-play scoring with six points despite playing only 16 games. The other players — Victor Rask, Teuvo Teravainen and Noah Hanifin — have each played 29 games.
  • Cam Ward will be in net tonight after he was pulled against Vancouver, albeit through no fault of his own. Bill Peters admitted as much after the game, saying that yanking Ward was less a reflection on his own play than that of the team in front of him. Look for Ward to bounce back tonight against the team he’s faced the second-most of any club in the NHL during his career, going 17-15-4 in 37 career games.
  • Washington only allows an average of 2.11 goals per game which is third best in the NHL. For a Hurricanes team that has struggled to score at times, this could present a difficult challenge. The Canes will need their 5th-ranked power play unit to step up and hope they can find some of the magic they had against the Canucks.
  • Tonight is the second of four games where the Canes will hold a toy drive to benefit the Ronald McDonald House of Durham and Wake counties and the Raleigh Rescue Mission. Bring a new toy to the game tonight (at any entrance) or to the VIP entrance of PNC Arena during business hours between now and next Monday and you’ll receive a buy-one-get-one-free voucher for one of four games in January.
  • Mystery pucks return tonight at PNC Arena. The Kids 'N Community Foundation will be selling 200 limited edition mystery holiday pucks each signed by a Hurricanes player at their kiosk for $30.