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Saturday, October 6th (All times eastern)

Carolina Hurricanes (1-0-1) at Washington Capitals (1-0-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals will play in front of their home fans for the first time this season, as they welcome the Carolina Hurricanes to the Verizon Center.

The Capitals started their season on the right note Friday evening in Atlanta. Brent Johnson stopped 28 shots to lead Washington to the 3-1 triumph over the Thrashers, who won the Southeast Division last season.

Michael Nylander, John Erskine and Viktor Kozlov each scored for the Capitals, who are trying to get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2003.

Nicklas Backstrom, Washington's first round pick (fourth overall) in 2006, made his NHL debut in the game and assisted on Nylander's goal

Ovechkin was held scoreless in his first game of the 2007-08 campaign after the 22-year-old phenom led the Caps with 92 points (46 goals, 46 assists) last season.

Olaf Kolzig, Washington's No. 1 goaltender, was given the night off on Friday, but expects to play this evening and again on Monday afternoon, when the Caps visit the New York Islanders for a Columbus Day matchup.

Washington winger Alexander Semin missed the season opener with a sprained right ankle and is questionable for this evening's test. Semin posted 38 goals and 35 assists for the Capitals last season.

The Hurricanes played their second game of the season on Friday night and picked up their first win by defeating visiting Pittsburgh, 4-1. Eric Staal scored two goals and Cam Ward made 33 saves, to lead Carolina to the triumph.

Jeff Hamilton added a goal and two assists for the Hurricanes, who played their first game of the season Wednesday at home and were handed an overtime loss by the Montreal Canadiens.

Carolina defenseman Bret Hedican scored a goal in the season opener against Montreal, but missed Friday's game with an illness. Hedican is questionable for tonight's test.

Tonight is the first of six straight games on the road for Carolina, which was 19-18-4 as the visiting team in 2006-07.

Carolina went 5-3 against the Capitals a year ago and has taken five of seven and eight of the last 11 matchups with Washington. The Hurricanes have also been triumphant in four of their last six trips to the nation's capital.

10/06 10:28:54 ET


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