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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, January 9th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (14-17-8-2) at Washington Capitals (11-26-4-1), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Carolina Hurricanes seek their season-high third consecutive victory tonight when they visit the Washington Capitals at the MCI Center.

Since a three-contest losing streak, the Canes have defeated St. Louis and the NY Rangers to conclude a seven-game homestand. On Thursday, Josef Vasicek scored twice during a three-goal second period, as Carolina held on to defeat the Rangers, 3-2, at the RBC Center.

Vasicek scored for the first time since November 26, a span of 18 games, as the Hurricanes ended their homestand 4-3.

Carolina center Ron Francis added an assist to move into sole possession of fourth place on the NHL's all-time scoring list with 1,772 points, passing Hall of Famer Marcel Dionne.

The Canes, who have lost five of their last seven on the road, will host Ottawa on Sunday.

Washington, meanwhile, hopes to end a seven-game winless skid (0-6-1). On Wednesday the Caps became the latest victim of the Coyotes' Brian Boucher, who made 27 saves for his NHL record-tying fourth straight shutout. Phoenix won the game, 3-0.

Olaf Kolzig made just 16 saves in net for the Capitals, who have lost three straight. Mike Grier had five shots on goal for Washington, which never really threatened Boucher's shutout streak.

On the health front, winger Peter Bondra returned from a four-game absence that resulted from a groin injury.

The Capitals, 0-3-1 in their last four at home, began a four-match homestand and will host Edmonton on Sunday.

Washington is 2-0 against Carolina this season, having outscored the Canes a combined 9-2. The Caps have won three straight meetings, and are 8-1-2 in the last 11. The Hurricanes have gone 0-4-1 in their last five trips to DC.

01/09 10:10:33 ET

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