NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, November 24th
(All times eastern)
Washington Capitals (14-6-2) at Carolina Hurricanes (9-9-2), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will try to snap out of
their longest losing streak of the season when they visit the Carolina
Hurricanes for tonight's Southeast Division clash at RBC Center.
The Capitals have gained one point during their current 0-2-1 stretch, losing
in a shootout to Philadelphia on Saturday. However, Washington has been dealt
5-0 losses in the other two games, including Monday's setback in New Jersey.
Washington allowed five goals to a Devils club that entered Monday's game
averaging just 1.80 goals per game. Jason Arnott scored twice and Johan
Hedberg made 30 saves to record the shutout at Prudential Center.
"The first period I knew this was going to be a team that was going to be very
dangerous," Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau said.
Braden Holtby suffered the loss after stopping only 18 of 23 shots for the
Capitals, who are in the midst of their worst slide since going 0-1-2 from
March 25-28 of last season. Washington last dropped four in a row from Oct.
6-12 of last season when it went 0-2-2.
The Caps could have Semyon Varlamov back in the crease tonight as the
goaltender was recalled Monday from the club's AHL affiliate in Hershey.
Varlamov, who hasn't played since aggravating a groin injury on Oct. 21,
served as Holtby's backup on Monday.
Varlamov's health has allowed him to play in just two games this season and
Michal Neuvirth has picked up the slack with 17 starts. Neuvirth, however,
tweaked a lower-body ailment in warmups on Monday and is questionable for
Capitals defensemen Mike Green and Tyler Sloan are also questionable for
tonight with undisclosed injuries.
Washington is 4-5-1 as the visiting team this season and has lost its last
three games on the road.
While the Capitals have lost three in a row, the Hurricanes have been defeated
in the shootout phase in two straight games and have dropped four out of five
After losing a 5-4 decision in Pittsburgh on Friday, the 'Canes played on home
ice the following day and found themselves on the wrong end of a 2-1 result
against Nashville. Martin Erat and Cal O'Reilly scored shootout goals to lift
the Predators to the win in Raleigh.
Erat closed the shootout session with a nice move in front, flipping the puck
over Carolina goalie Cam Ward's stick and into the net for the victory.
Joni Pitkanen had a goal for the Hurricanes, while Ward played well in defeat,
stopping 26-of-27 shots.
"You're never satisfied with losing in a shootout, but it is an important
point for the hockey team," said Ward.
The Hurricanes are 5-3-1 as the host this year and have lost two of their last
three at the RBC Center. Carolina will play its next game Friday in Boston
before visiting the Capitals on Sunday.
Neuvirth posted his first career shutout in the Capitals' 3-0 victory at
Carolina on Oct. 27. Washington has won nine of 15 overall in the series, but
the Hurricanes have won four of the last six meetings in Raleigh.
11/24 11:02:28 ET