Washington at Carolina
When: 7:00 PM
ET, Friday, February 27, 2015
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina
The Washington Capitals look to avoid a third straight loss when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. Washington has followed a four-game winning streak with back-to-back one-goal losses at Philadelphia and against Pittsburgh, putting itself in danger of its first three-game slide since dropping four in a row from Jan. 16-27. Captain Alex Ovechkin scored his league-leading 39th goal in Wednesday's 4-3 loss to the Penguins, which put Pittsburgh three points ahead of the Capitals for the third playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division.
Carolina seeks its third consecutive win at home after topping Toronto and Philadelphia, limiting both to one goal. Defenseman Justin Faulk recorded a goal and an assist while Cam Ward made 24 saves in his 500th career game as the Hurricanes skated past the Flyers 4-1 on Tuesday for their third victory in five overall contests. Washington edged Carolina by one tally in each of their first two meetings this season, including a 2-1 triumph in Raleigh on Dec. 4.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN-DC (Washington), FSN Carolinas
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (33-19-10): Ovechkin's goal on Wednesday came on the power play, a category he also leads with 18. The 29-year-old superstar, who is vying for his fifth career Maurice Richard Trophy - and third in a row - has collected 25 goals over a span in which he has tallied in 20 of his last 31 games. Nicklas Backstrom has been kept off the scoresheet in two straight games but still owns a share of the NHL scoring lead with 64 points.
ABOUT THE HURRICANES (22-30-7): Carolina will be playing its first game since beginning its fire sale. The Hurricanes made a pair of trades Wednesday, sending Jiri Tlusty to Winnipeg and defenseman Andrej Sekera to Los Angeles. In return, the club received a third-round pick in the 2016 draft and either a fifth- or sixth-rounder this year from the Jets while obtaining defenseman Roland McKeown and a first-round selection in either 2015 or 2016 from the Kings.
1. Carolina is 15th in the Eastern Conference but has played well of late, going 12-7-3 since the beginning of January.
2. Washington may start former Carolina G Justin Peters, who is just 3-5-1 this season but has recorded one of his wins against the Hurricanes.
3. McKeown has recorded four goals and 20 assists in 54 games with Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League this season.
PREDICTION: Capitals 5, Hurricanes 1
Stats and Records