NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
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
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