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Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals: Lineups and Game Discussion

Post-Holiday Hockey commences with a Canes visit to Washington to take on the Caps.

NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at Washington Capitals Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The Christmas Break is over across the NHL beginning tonight with 26 teams returning to action, including the Carolina Hurricanes who travel up to the Nation’s Capital to take on the Washington Capitals. Due to the league-wide shutdown for the holidays, the Hurricanes actually skated in Raleigh this morning prior to departing for D.C. Some good news for the Canes came out of the morning skate, as Haydn Fleury has returned to practice from his concussion by participating this morning, though he will not dress this evening.

Coming off their rousing 5-3 victory on Whalers Night over the Boston Bruins, the Canes are slated to ice the same lineup they used on Sunday. Petr Mrazek is scheduled to be between the pipes again as the Canes seek to again climb above the NHL .500 mark. Below is the projected lineup:

Andrei Svechnikov - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Warren Foegele - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook
Micheal Ferland - Clark Bishop - Justin Williams
Janne Kuokkanen - Victor Rask - Brock McGinn

Jaccob Slavin - Brett Pesce
Calvin de Haan - Justin Faulk
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Dougie Hamilton

Petr Mrazek
Curtis McElhinney

The Washington Capitals entered the Christmas break on a scorching pace, winning seven of their final eight contests before the holiday (including their 6-5 shootout win at PNC Arena on December 14th). Despite not scoring a goal in any of the final three games, Alex Ovechkin continues to lead the Caps at age 33, rating first among all goal-scorers in the NHL with 29 goals in 35 games played.

Braden Holtby is expected back in net after backup Pheonix Copley posted his first career shutout in the final game before the break. Below are the expected lines from coach Todd Reirden and the defending Stanley Cup Champs:

Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Tom Wilson
Andre Burakovsky - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Chandler Stephenson - Travis Boyd - Devante Smith-Pelly

Michal Kempny - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Jonas Siegenthaler - Madison Bowey

Braden Holtby
Pheonix Copley