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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Tuesday, March 3rd (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (32-27-5) at Washington Capitals (40-19-5), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will try to bounce back from a lopsided loss when they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes for a Southeast Division battle at Verizon Center.

The Capitals had a two-game winning streak halted on Sunday, as they were handed a 6-2 setback by visiting Florida. It was Washington's largest margin of defeat on home ice this season.

Despite the loss, Washington still holds a 13-point lead over the Panthers for first place in the Southeast Division. The Caps, who have 85 points on the year, are also tied with New Jersey for the Eastern Conference's second seed.

Bryan McCabe notched a goal and three assists to lead Florida to the easy victory in D.C.

Alexander Ovechkin scored his league-leading 46th goal in the loss, while Alexander Semin also scored for the Caps, who fell for just the third time in nine games. Jose Theodore allowed four goals on 17 shots in the first period before giving way to Michal Neuvirth, who stopped 14-of-16 shots the rest of the way.

Nicklas Backstrom extended his point streak to a current league-high 10 games, posting an assist on Ovechkin's goal late in the third period.

The loss to Florida began a four-game homestand for the Capitals, who are 25-7-1 as the host this year, but have lost two of three and three of their last five home games.

Carolina has lost two of its last three games and is coming off Saturday's loss in Atlanta. The Hurricanes are one point out of a playoff seed in the East, as they are tied with Buffalo for ninth place in the conference.

Rich Peverley's second goal of the game with 1:28 to play helped the Thrashers rally for the 5-3 win over Carolina at Philips Arena. Atlanta was trailing by two goals in the third period, but rallied to tie the game and Peverley gave his team the lead.

Tuomo Ruutu had a goal and an assist and Cam Ward allowed four goals on 31 shots in the loss for the Hurricanes.

Carolina is completing a brief two-game road trip tonight and is 15-14-4 as the guest this season. The Hurricanes have dropped two of their last three road tests after winning their previous four in a row away from Raleigh.

The Capitals have won two of the three meetings against Carolina this season and had won four straight overall before dropping a 3-1 decision in Raleigh the last time the clubs met on December 7. The Hurricanes have lost two straight, four of five and five of their last seven in D.C.

03/03 10:54:40 ET

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