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Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals: Projected Lines and Rosters

Will breaking up the Canes’ top defensive pairing pay dividends tonight?

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes are only making a couple of changes tonight, but they’re both significant. Eddie Lack looks to be in line to make his first start in more than three months, although Bill Peters wouldn’t confirm this morning. Lack last started a game for the Canes on November 6 against the Devils, and has played a couple of games in Charlotte while recovering from a concussion but has not seen any NHL action since being activated off injured reserve just before the All-Star break.

And we are about to find out if the magic that Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin have worked against the league’s top offensive units is spreadable to other pairings. Peters has split the duo up, pairing Slavin with Justin Faulk and Pesce next to Ron Hainsey.

It’s a risky move for Peters, who may be trying to avoid replicating the lineup that lost 6-1 to the Capitals two weeks ago - but in that game, the Pesce-Slavin pairing held Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom scoreless, with their only points coming against the Faulk-Hainsey combination.

Carolina Hurricanes

Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Derek Ryan - Lee Stempniak
Brock McGinn - Victor Rask - Teuvo Teravainen
Joakim Nordstrom - Jay McClement - Viktor Stalberg

Jaccob Slavin - Justin Faulk
Ron Hainsey - Brett Pesce
Noah Hanifin - Klas Dahlbeck

Eddie Lack
Cam Ward

Injuries and Scratches: Bryan Bickell (IR multiple sclerosis), Ty Rattie (healthy), Matt Tennyson (healthy), Ryan Murphy (healthy)

Washington Capitals

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Marcus Johansson - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Daniel Winnik - Jay Beagle - Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Nate Schmidt

Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer

Injuries and Scratches: Taylor Chorney (healthy)