Tonight, it’s a showdown in the capital. With the Hurricanes looking to rebound from an overtime defeat at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings, they make the arduous trip to the District of Columbia where the Washington Capitals lie in wait. A team that spends a decade winning division titles and beating up on the Canes now hosts a Canes team top of the Eastern Conference.
With the Canes coming to town, let’s look at the caps first. They’re in utter freefall. They’ve lost six straight at CapitalOne Arena. They’ve lost their last three in a row, and they need to win tonight. They’re in danger of being pulled into a race for the playoff spots. This is unlike any Washington team we’ve ever come across. They’re going to be put in a position they’ve not been in for many years.
Carolina comes into this game with points in eight straight. They sit five points above the Pittsburgh Penguins within the Metropolitan Division. We will be talking about the Penguins more tomorrow, as this is the first half of a back-to-back with the Penguins being the second opponent. This couple of days could end the race for the Metropolitan Division title if the Canes can do what they need to do.
In the meeting earlier this season back in Raleigh, Washington beat Carolina 4-2, and this was when the Capitals were a threat for the Division title. Those two teams were in vastly different scenarios. Now, the Hurricanes just need to put the puck in the net, play solid defensive hockey and they’ll be fine. They cannot afford to blunder as they did against Detroit and start throwing very valuable points away.
This is going to be a fantastic game. Two teams with a lot of recent history will go toe to toe with one another tonight, as the Division-leading Carolina Hurricanes take on the playoff-chasing Washington Capitals. A game in the United States capital, and a game you cannot miss. ESPN will be covering this game, as we expect some fireworks between the two teams.