NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Sunday, November 28th (All times eastern)
Carolina Hurricanes (10-10-2) at Washington Capitals (16-6-2), 5 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals are coming off a decisive victory over a division rival and will try to give another Southeast Division foe the same treatment tonight, when the Carolina Hurricanes visit the Verizon Center.
The Capitals won their second straight contest after a three-game losing streak by defeating the visiting Tampa Bay Lightning on Friday. The Lightning came into the game riding a five-game winning streak, but were knocked back down to size with a 6-0 defeat by the division-leading Caps.
Alexander Semin notched his third hat trick of the season to lead the way in Friday's blowout victory. Semin has 17 goals already this year, placing him third in the NHL behind only Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos.
"I don't know if I've seen anyone more skilled than him, [to be] honest with you," Caps forward Nicklas Backstrom said of Semin. "He can shoot from every angle, and everything, so that's pretty impressive. I'm just glad he's on our team."
Semyon Varlamov stopped 17 shots to post his first shutout of the year. It was just the third start of the season for the Russian netminder and the second since he returned from a groin injury. Varlamov could get the start again tonight as Michael Neuvirth, who is 12-3-1 on the year, is currently battling a lower-body injury.
John Carlson, John Erskine and Tom Poti also lit the lamp for the Capitals, who have 34 points on the year, tying them with Philadelphia for the most in the Eastern Conference and NHL.
Caps defenseman Mike Green missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury on Friday and is questionable for today's contest. Green is leading all Washington blueliners in goals (5) and points (13) this season.
Washington has a fantastic 11-1-1 record as the host this year and the Hurricanes have lost three of four, five of seven and seven of their last 10 in D.C.
Carolina has also lost both meetings with the Capitals so far this season, dropping a pair of games in Raleigh. Washington has taken five of eight and six of 10 overall in the series.
Semin has 23 goals and 38 points in 31 career games against the Hurricanes, but he has yet to record a point in two games versus Carolina this year. Alex Ovechkin has 51 points (19 goals, 32 assists) in 37 games against the 'Canes and has registered four assists so far in the 2010-11 season series.
Carolina ended a three-game losing streak in its last game, posting a 3-0 victory Friday afternoon in Boston. Cam Ward stopped 37 shots for his first shutout of the season to help the Hurricanes record the victory at TD Garden.
"That's a pretty sound team over there and we knew it was going to be a tough game," said Ward. "But the guys did a good job of preparing and we were able to walk away from here with a big two points."
Tuomo Ruutu and Jeff Skinner each had a goal and an assist while Jussi Jokinen also lit the lamp for the Hurricanes, who were 0-1-2 in their previous three outings. Ruutu extended his point streak to five games and has two goals and four assists during the run.
The Carolina power play, which was ranked 21st in the league coming into the game, went 3-for-3 in the contest to help lead the team to victory.
Friday's win halted a four-game road losing streak for the Hurricanes, who are 5-6-1 as the visiting team this year.
11/28 10:36:19 ET