The Carolina Hurricanes return home for their first home playoff game in nearly a decade with their backs squarely against the wall in the series. Trailing 2-0 to the Washington Capitals, the Canes would do well to improve upon their poor starts in the first two games of the series, which saw them fall behind by multiple goals in the first period of each game.
Sebastian Aho will look to pick up where he left off in Game 2 where he tallied his first goal more than 15 games. Rod Brind’Amour has additionally chosen to stick with Petr Mrazek in net for Game 3. While Mrazek has not done anything to necessarily fall out of favor, the alternating between Mrazek and Curtis McElhinney was thought to potentially carry into the postseason, and with the Canes dropping the first two games, Game 3 could have been a time to possibly expect a change in net. Nevertheless, the Canes have made some lineup changes, swapping out Teuvo Teravainen and Justin Williams as well as Micheal Ferland and Andrei Svechnikov.
Below is the projected Canes lineup:
Nino Niederreiter - Sebastian Aho - Teuvo Teravainen
Andrei Svechnikov - Jordan Staal - Justin Williams
Micheal Ferland - Lucas Wallmark - Jordan Martinook
Warren Foegele - Greg McKegg - Brock McGinn
Jaccob Slavin - Dougie Hamilton
Brett Pesce - Justin Faulk
Haydn Fleury - Trevor van Riemsdyk
Injuries and scratches: Calvin de Haan (upper-body), Saku Maenalanen (healthy), Jake Bean (healthy)
The Washington Capitals are seeking to follow the path of the Islanders and Blue Jackets and jump out to a commanding 3-0 series lead on Monday. Their lineup is expected to remain the same, and the defending Stanley Cup champions hope that their play on the road in the postseason carries over from last season. The 10-3 performance on the road last year, including clinching all four series on road ice, should prepare the Caps for what is expected to be a raucous environment in Raleigh on Monday night.
Nicklas Backstrom continued to hurt the Hurricanes mightily in Game 2, adding another goal and an assist following his two-goal performance in Game 1. Braden Holtby will once again be in net as he looks to extend his impressive work against the Canes this season. Holtby has managed a 6-0 record in the season and playoffs against Carolina, stopping 153 of the 167 shots he has faced.
The Caps will again ice the following lineup:
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Carl Hagelin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - T.J. Oshie
Jakub Vrana - Lars Eller - Brett Connolly
Andre Burakovsky - Nic Dowd - Chandler Stephenson
John Carlson - Nick Jensen
Dmitry Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik - Christian Djoos