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Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals: Lineups and Game Discussion

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The Hurricanes and Capitals begin a home and home in D.C. tonight.

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

The Carolina Hurricanes seek to finish their current four-game road trip on a high note as they travel to our nation’s capital to begin a home and home with the Washington Capitals.

After opening their trip with a 4-0 whitewashing of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the Canes have dropped back to back games in Boston and in Tampa. The Canes offense, and particularly their power play, came alive in the 5-4 defeat against the Lightning. The Canes continue to slowly climb the power play standings, as their 2 out of 4 performance lifted them to 23rd in the league at 17.04%.

Tonight’s game will be a return to the net for Scott Darling, who has not started since a 3-2 defeat to the St. Louis Blues on December 30th. With Cam Ward coming off back to back losses, in which the Canes gave up seven and five goals respectively. A strong performance from Darling could go a long way towards earning himself more opportunities to regain his starting role.

A friendly reminder: tonight’s game can be seen on Fox Sports Southeast.

Below are the Canes lines from today’s morning skate:

Sebastian Aho - Jordan Staal - Elias Lindholm
Jeff Skinner - Victor Rask - Teuvo Teravainen
Brock McGinn - Derek Ryan - Justin Williams
Joakim Nordstrom - Marcus Kruger - Josh Jooris

Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Haydn Fleury - Justin Faulk
Noah Hanifin - Trevor van Riemsdyk

Scott Darling
Cam Ward

Injuries and Scratches: Lee Stempniak (healthy), Phil Di Giuseppe (healthy), Klas Dahlbeck (healthy)

The Washington Capitals enter tonight’s action riding a five-game winning streak that includes last week’s 5-4 OT win in Raleigh. Alex Ovechkin has turned up the goal scoring, as he is tied for the league lead in goals with Nikita Kucherov. Their current winning streak coincides with a five-game point streak for Ovechkin.

With Braden Holtby in net at home, it is important for the Canes to come out firing on all cylinders if they wish to stay competitive. Holtby currently boosts an eight-game home winning streak of his own, and is sporting a solid .917 save percentage on the season as a whole.

Below are the projected lines for the Capitals for Thursday night’s tilt:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Devante Smith-Pelly
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - T.J. Oshie
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Alex Chiasson

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby
Philipp Grubauer