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Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals: Lineups and Game Discussion

Here’s hoping we can avoid another Experiencing of Canes Hockey for the third time in a week.

NHL: Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

If you’ve been around these parts for a while, you probably don’t need to read the next couple of paragraphs, but every once in a while it’s worthwhile to give a short refresher course.

Back a few years ago, the Hurricanes had a marketing campaign based around the slogan “Experience Canes Hockey”. It was a cousin to the original “You’ll Know When You Go” campaign when the team first moved, that tried to encourage fans to give the Hurricanes a shot. Yeah, they hadn’t made the playoffs for a few years, but prosperity was just around the corner with newly-promoted GM Ron Francis and, in season 2 of the campaign, new coach Bill Peters, and you really need to make sure you get in on the ground floor to be there when times got good.

Here, have a look:

And then what happened? More of the same is what happened, over and over and over again for the next five seasons. Experience Canes Hockey became a punchline rather than a tagline, and ever since, it’s become an ironic way to refer to games like the two earlier this week, where the team does a lot of things right but every mistake they make ends up in the back of their own net, and they can’t get out of their own way.

So, yeah, here’s hoping all the Experiencing of Canes Hockey is behind us and we can actually enjoy a game tonight.

Who is going to be in the lineup is still an open question, and one that we won’t have answered until much closer to game time. Jordan Martinook is almost certainly out after suffering what looked like a lower-body injury last night, so the logical conclusion is that the Hurricanes would just plug Seth Jarvis back into the lineup and move along.

However, it seems probable that Tony DeAngelo is set to return tonight, which complicates things somewhat. Brendan Smith was solid last night in his return from injury, and Ethan Bear has scored in two of his last four games, including last night, so your two obvious candidates to sit in favor of TDA haven’t really done anything to earn a seat in the press box. Maybe Ian Cole will get a night off?

So do the Hurricanes go 11/7 tonight? (Wouldn’t think so, but who knows?) With it being a back to back, we won’t know until much closer to game time. Here’s our best guess, with Smith being the most likely candidate to take a seat I suppose, based on how last night’s game ended:

Andrei Svechnikov - Vincent Trocheck - Teuvo Teravainen
Jesperi Kotkaniemi - Sebastian Aho - Martin Necas
Nino Niederreiter - Jordan Staal - Jesper Fast
Steven Lorentz - Derek Stepan - Seth Jarvis

Jaccob Slavin - Tony DeAngelo
Brady Skjei - Brett Pesce
Ian Cole - Ethan Bear

Antti Raanta
Frederik Andersen

Injuries and Scratches: Jordan Martinook (lower body), Brendan Smith (healthy)

Like the Hurricanes, the Capitals come into tonight’s game after playing last night. Unlike the Hurricanes, the Capitals actually took care of business, walloping the Blue Jackets 7-2 in the District.

But the win came at a cost, that being an injury to T.J. Oshie in the third period that seems likely to keep him out tonight. Needless to say, that would be a huge loss for the streaking Capitals, who are on a 6-0-1 heater that began two weeks ago with a win over Carolina in this very building. The Caps are 18-5-5 this season with Oshie in the lineup, but are just 16-13-5 without him.

Vitek Vanecek, who shut out the Hurricanes on March 3, played last night so it seems likely that Ilya Samsonov will get the call for Peter Laviolette’s crew, behind this lineup:

Alex Ovechkin - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Conor Sheary
Anthony Mantha - Nicklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Daniel Sprong - Connor McMichael - Garnet Hathaway
Axel Jonsson-Fjallby - Nic Dowd - Mike Vecchione

Martin Fehervary - John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov - Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk - Justin Schultz

Ilya Samsonov
Vitek Vanecek

Injuries and Scratches: T.J. Oshie (lower body), Michal Kempny (healthy), Matt Irwin (healthy), Carl Hagelin (IR eye), Joe Snively (IR wrist), Lars Eller (Covid protocol)

Tonight’s Officials
Referees: Beau Halkidis #48, Ian Walsh #29
Linesmen: Bryan Pancich #94, Caleb Apperson #77