NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Friday, November 4th
(All times eastern)
Washington Capitals (8-2-0) at Carolina Hurricanes (5-4-3), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will shoot for a second straight
victory when they visit the rival Carolina Hurricanes for tonight's Southeast
Division clash at RBC Center.
The Capitals won their first seven games of the season before dropping games
last week in Edmonton and Vancouver. Washington was able to get back on track
Tuesday night against visiting Anaheim, but the Caps needed a late rally to
move to 8-2-0 on the season and stay perfect in six games on home ice.
Nicklas Backstrom tied the game with 42 seconds left in regulation and won it
at the 2:18 mark of overtime as Washington stormed back for a 5-4 win over the
Dennis Wideman and Joel Ward each had a goal and an assist while Troy Brouwer
also lit the lamp for the Capitals.
Tomas Vokoun was tagged for four goals on just 15 shots, but stopped enough to
help Washington snap its first losing streak of the season.
"I certainly wasn't happy with the first 30 minutes of this game," said
Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "But, the guys kept it close and I was
much more happy with our second half of the game. Still, we have to work on
The big story coming out of Tuesday's game was Boudreau's decision to not have
superstar Alex Ovechkin on the ice with Vokoun pulled in the final minute of
regulation. Ovechkin was visibly upset on the bench and TV cameras caught him
hurl a few expletives Boudreau's way, but No. 8 has since said he understands
his coach's decision.
"Alex understands and gets it," Boudreau said. "He's a great captain that way.
He gets mad because he wants to play and he wants to compete."
Ovechkin, who has five goals and five assists in 10 games this year, was on
the ice for Backstrom's game-winner and recorded the primary assist on that
On the injury front, Washington will be without defenseman Mike Green for a
fourth straight game tonight. Green is sidelined with an injured ankle, but
did make the trip to Carolina and there is an outside chance he could play
Saturday against the New York Islanders.
Forwards Brouwer (shoulder) and Jeff Halpern (undisclosed) are questionable
for tonight's contest.
The Hurricanes have won two of their last three games, but they haven't fared
well recently against Washington. Carolina dropped an overtime decision in
D.C. on Oct. 8, giving the Capitals their sixth win in the last seven meetings
between the division rivals. Washington has also taken three straight and six
of its last 10 tests in Raleigh.
Carolina hosted Tampa Bay on Tuesday and recorded a 4-2 victory over the
Lightning, as Jeff Skinner and Chad LaRose each tallied twice.
Skinner, who won the Calder Trophy as last year's top rookie, is leading
Carolina this season in both goals (6) and points (12). He has one goal and
five assists in seven career games against the Capitals.
Cam Ward stopped 28-of-30 shots for Carolina and is expected to get the start
tonight. Ward is 14-8-4 with a 2.54 goals-against average in 27 career games
Tonight's test marks the middle segment of a three-game homestand for
Carolina, which is 3-1-1 as the host this season.
11/04 10:37:09 ET