NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Wednesday, March 10th (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (27-31-7) at Washington Capitals (44-13-9), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - Both Joe Corvo and Scott Walker were given a chance to compete on a championship-caliber team when they were traded by the Hurricanes to the Capitals before the trade deadline. One week later, they get to show off in front of their old club.
Corvo and Walker will square off against their former mates tonight when Washington tries to avoid a second consecutive defeat at Verizon Center versus a Carolina squad that is making a late playoff push despite being sellers at the deadline.
The Capitals have been on fire since early January, going 20-2-3 over their last 25 games while jumping out to a 31-point edge over the second-place Thrashers for the top spot in the Southeast Division. They also lead the Penguins by 13 points for the top spot in the Eastern Conference and the Sharks by four points for the most in the NHL.
Washington has also earned a point in six of its last seven games, going 3-1-3 in that span. That includes Monday's 4-3 shootout loss to Dallas that halted the Caps' home winning streak at 11 games.
Tom Poti and Alex Ovechkin scored in the first and second periods respectively, but the Stars scored three times in the third frame. Ovechkin, though, netted the game-tying goal with 3:16 left in the third before the team's five-round shootout loss to the Stars and goaltender Marty Turco, who stopped a career-high 49 Washington shots.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 23 shots in the loss, Washington's first at home since December 28 to Carolina.
"It's not everyday you throw 52 shots on net," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "We've seen what [Turco] can do when he's at the top of his game, and tonight he was at the top of his game."
Ovechkin snapped a season-long six-game goal drought and moved into a tie with Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for the league lead in goals with 44. Ovechkin is also tops in the NHL with 92 points and posted his fifth consecutive 300-shot season.
The Hurricanes had lost their first two games versus the Capitals this year before that victory at Verizon Center on December 28 behind two goals and three assists from Eric Staal. It was only Carolina's fourth win in its last 11 versus Washington overall and its third in nine trips to D.C.
Despite entering this game nine points back of playoff spot, the Hurricanes still opted to deal defenseman Corvo and winger Walker to the Capitals last week in separate trades, just a few of the handful of deals Carolina made before the deadline.
The club has yet to slow down, winning seven straight prior to Saturday's loss to Florida. However, Carolina got right back in the win column on Sunday with a 4-0 triumph over Atlanta for its first shutout of the season. Manny Legace made 27 saves for his 24th career shutout and first since April 5, 2008 while with St. Louis.
"[The Thrashers] are so talented you just got to be on top of your game all night," Legace said. "My defense played phenomenal in front of me all night long."
Jussi Jokinen had a goal and an assist while Brandon Sutter, Joni Pitkanen, and Rod Brind'Amour also lit the lamp for the victors. Sutter now has four goals and four assists over a six-game point streak.
03/10 10:46:09 ET