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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals: Game Preview and Discussion

A seven-game homestand of significant importance begins Saturday night at PNC as the Hurricanes welcome the Capitals for their first visit this season.

Carolina Hurricanes v Washington Capitals - Game Seven
It never gets old.
Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Well, at least it isn’t another game against Henrik Lundqvist.

But it is a game against the Washington Capitals, which is probably the last thing the Carolina Hurricanes want to see on the back of a three-game losing streak that has seen them surrender 17 goals and come apart at the seams repeatedly, even in traditionally strong areas like defending and the penalty kill. A large and predictably boisterous crowd will welcome the Hurricanes home; will the team respond in kind?

Vital Statistics

Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Category Hurricanes Blue Jackets
Record 21-7-3 13-13-7
Goals/Game 3.23 2.54
Goals Against/Game 2.48 3.12
Shots/Game 31.52 28.70
Face Off Win % 54.4% 46.2%
Power Play % (Rank) 30.6% (1st) 14.8% (26th)
Penalty Kill % (Rank) 82.9% (9th) 74.0% (26th)
ES Corsi For % 53.04% 46.16%
ES PDO 100.96 99.42
PIM/Game 07:21 06:43

Goaltender #1

Category James Reimer Joonas Korpisalo
Category James Reimer Joonas Korpisalo
Record 12-4-1 8-10-5
Save % 0.909 .900
GAA 2.68 2.98

Goaltender #2

Category Alex Nedeljkovic Elvis Merzlikins
Category Alex Nedeljkovic Elvis Merzlikins
Record 7-2-2 5-3-2
Save % .930 .912
GAA 1.96 2.91

Game Notes

  • This is the first time these two teams have seen each other in almost three months. The Hurricanes stole a 3-2 overtime win in Washington on October 5, the second game of the season, coming back from a 2-0 deficit to get the game to overtime and eventually win it on Jake Gardiner’s first goal as a Hurricane.
  • Both of the Caps’ visits to Raleigh are within the span of a week. They’ll be back at PNC next Friday for their final visit of the season, because why would anything make sense on the NHL schedule?
  • Sebastian Aho really likes playing the Caps. In 13 career games, the Elf On The Shelf has 17 points (eight goals, nine assists) against Washington, and his partner-in-crime Teuvo Teravainen has 13 points of his own in 15 career matchups against the Caps.
  • Lucas Wallmark extended his career-long points streak to five games last night. He has seven points (3g, 4a) in the last five games, most on the team.
  • Not to be outdone, Teravainen is now up to six straight games with an assist, and quietly Nino Niederreiter has a helper in each of the last three games as well.
  • The Caps also played last night, also against their personal Kryptonite team (in their case, the Columbus Blue Jackets) but unlike the Hurricanes, the Caps managed a win: a 2-1 overtime decision over the Jackets at home.
  • With that in mind, neither team skated this morning, so the lineups should be relatively similar. We expect Petr Mrazek to be back in net for the Hurricanes, and are guessing that Haydn Fleury will get back in the lineup to replace Trevor van Riemsdyk, but otherwise things should look fairly familiar.

Projected Lineups


Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Warren Foegele
Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Ryan Dzingel - Erik Haula - Martin Necas
Brock McGinn - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook

Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Joel Edmundson - Brett Pesce
Jake Gardiner - Haydn Fleury

Petr Mrazek
James Reimer

Injuries and Scratches: Trevor van Riemsdyk (healthy)


Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Carl Hagelin - Lars Eller - Richard Panik
Brendan Leipsic - Nic Dowd - Garnet Hathaway

Christian Djoos - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Nick Jensen
Jonas Siegenthaler - Radko Gudas

Braden Holtby
Ilya Samsonov

Injuries and Scratches: Michal Kempny (illness), Travis Boyd (healthy)