NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, October 27th
(All times eastern)
Washington Capitals (5-3-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (4-3-0), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - For the first time this season the Carolina Hurricanes will
get a chance to play a game on their home ice, as they welcome the Washington
Capitals for tonight's Southeast Division clash at RBC Center.
The Hurricanes began the 2010-11 campaign with a two-game series against
Minnesota in Helsinki, Finland. After sweeping the Wild overseas, Carolina
returned to North American and embarked on a five-game road trip, which ended
Saturday with an overtime win in Phoenix.
Carolina went 2-3-0 on the swing and is glad to be back in Raleigh, where the
club posted 21 of its 35 victories last season.
"I think that coming off a road trip that was a very difficult schedule and
having more confidence in yourself than when you left -- we're very happy
about that," Hurricanes head coach Paul Maurice told his team's official web
The 'Canes notched a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes on Saturday thanks to Anton
Babchuk's game-winner with 2:08 remaining in overtime.
Patrick Dwyer, Jussi Jokinen, and Sergei Samsonov also lit the lamp for the
Hurricanes. Cam Ward turned aside 36- of-39 shots.
"I think we were good for about 35-40 minutes," said Maurice. "They're a young
team like we are and we faltered there, but we came back to find a way to win
so good for us."
The Hurricanes are expected to have forward Jiri Tlusty on the ice for the
first time this season tonight. Tlusty had knee surgery in the offseason and
had been playing with Carolina's AHL affiliate in Charlotte for conditioning
purposes. He posted one goal and one assists in five games with the Checkers
before being recalled to the big club this week.
Washington is coming off a win in its last outing, as the defending
Presidents' Trophy winners posted an overtime victory Saturday against
visiting Atlanta. Alexander Semin notched his fourth career hat trick and
Tomas Fleischmann scored the winning goal 1:37 into overtime to lead the
Capitals to the 4-3 decision at Verizon Center.
Mathieu Perreault added two assists and Michal Neuvirth made 29 saves for the
Capitals. Neuvirth is expected to get the start again tonight as Semyon
Varlamov is not with the team due to a groin injury. Braden Holtby will likely
serve as the backup.
In the extra session, Eric Fehr took a shot from above the right circle.
Fleischmann was in the inside edge of the same circle and he lifted a backhand
high past Chris Mason for the game-winner.
"That was a fluky goal, but it went in," Fleischmann said. "I'm happy for it."
The Hurricanes and Caps split six meetings last year and each club has 10
victories in the last 20 encounters overall. Washington has dropped nine of
its last 12 on the road in this series.
Tonight marks the start of a three-game road trip for the Caps, who are 1-2-0
as the away team this year.
10/27 10:37:48 ET