The Carolina Hurricanes (10-12-5) will play their first game in a two-game road swing against the Washington Capitals (14-11-2) tonight at 7 ET. The game will be televised on Fox Sports Carolinas and on the radio at 99.9 FM The Fan.
The last time these two teams met was early October with the Canes skating away with a 3-2 win. Nathan Gerbe scored a third-period goal to lead the team to a win, while Alex Semin and Elias Lindholm also scored.Hurricanes Lineup Skinner – E. Staal – Ruutu Tlusty – J. Staal – Dwyer Gerbe – Nash – Lindholm Bowman – Malhotra – Dvorak/Westgarth Sekera – Faulk Bellemore – Hainsey Harrison – Murphy/Komisarek Peters [Ward] Scratches: Khudobin, Semin, Gleason (Injured) Komisarek (Healthy). Capitals Lineup Johansson – Backstrom – Ovechkin Fehr – Grabovski – Brouwer Chimera – Beagle – Ward Volpatti – Erat – Wilson Alzner – Green Carlson – Schmidt Orlov – Strachan Holtby/Neuvrith Scratches: Laich, Hillen and Erskine (Injured).
Hurricanes Outlook: The Canes last played Sunday afternoon, losing to the Canucks by a 3-2 score. A lack of success on the power-play and a dismal first period led to the team’s demise.
The Hurricanes had six chances on the power-play in the first period, but could not convert on any. The Canucks ended up scoring twice and taking a lead into the intermission that the Canes would never be able to overcome.
But the team had some good news in practice as Andrej Sekera returned and should make his return tonight.
In other injury news, Tim Gleason and Anton Khudobin traveled with the team on this trip and could make their returns either tonight or Thursday.
UPDATE: Muller said after the morning skate that Sekera is probable for tonight’s game, but Mike Komisarek could still play instead of Ryan Murphy.
Despite the Hurricanes dropping their last two games, some players are on some point streaks. Nathan Gerbe has five points in the last four, Justin Faulk and Ron Hainsey have points in the last three and Eric Staal has a point in eight of the last nine.
Capitals Outlook: The Caps are coming into the game with a two-game winning streak, defeating the Canadiens and Islanders, both by 3- scores, to close out November.
The team’s offense has taken a scoring-by-committee stand as five different players had goals over the two games. But Alex Ovechkin is still the Capital’s offensive leader with 21 goals and eight assists. The Russian leads the league in goals.
Unlike the offense, Washington’s defense has taken a hit with injuries and a lack of experience lately. Nate Schmidt and Dmitry Orlov have a combined 89 games between them. Tyson Stachan has played 128 games, but only 46 over the past two seasons.
Capitals have the home ice and will be able to dictate what lines are out there, but if Kirk Muller can get one of his top lines out against the third-pairing it could make a big difference.
A recap will be posted after the game.