Hurricanes look to avenge defeat as they host the Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Nino Niederreiter #21 of the Carolina Hurricanes and Nic Dowd #26 of the Washington Capitals go after the puck in the first period at Capital One Arena on March 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 03: Nino Niederreiter #21 of the Carolina Hurricanes and Nic Dowd #26 of the Washington Capitals go after the puck in the first period at Capital One Arena on March 03, 2022 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /
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WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 03: Nino Niederreiter #21 of the Carolina Hurricanes and Nic Dowd #26 of the Washington Capitals go after the puck in the first period at Capital One Arena on March 03, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC – MARCH 03: Nino Niederreiter #21 of the Carolina Hurricanes and Nic Dowd #26 of the Washington Capitals go after the puck in the first period at Capital One Arena on March 03, 2022, in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images) /

Last night’s effort in Toronto outlined how inefficient the team is with its scoring chances. Despite having the better of Toronto Maple Leafs all night long, the Hurricanes got denied by a young goalie. Tonight, they don’t find themselves against an easier opponent. They welcome the white-hot Washington Capitals to PNC Arena. Carolina has lost both games against their Metropolitan Division foe and will be looking to get back to winning ways.

Tonight, it’s expected we see Finnish netminder Antti Raanta go for Carolina. While Raanta has been sparkling for the Canes as of late, this is going to be a bigger situation than he’s played in before. Carolina is being hunted down for the Metropolitan Division lead and a big performance from Raanta could help alleviate the pressure building on the team from those chasing them within the Metropolitan and get back to winning ways.

This is game three of a very difficult stretch of games for this Hurricanes team. So far, the Canes have gone 0-2 during this gauntlet. If the Hurricanes are to prove themselves as one of the best in the league, they need to get back to destroying teams with solid defense and creating scoring chances. They were unable to do that in either game so far. That could be the difference between victory and defeat against a foe that’s caused this team a lot of issues.

Keeping the great eight off the board is going to be another big part of achieving success in this game. Alex Ovechkin is closing in on the all-time goal-scoring record and he’s recently moved into third all-time. No player has terrorized the Hurricanes more than the Russian winger and keeping the Capitals captain out of the action is going to be a big theme in this game. If he’s allowed to slap the puck from his office whenever he wants, it’s going to be a long night for the Hurricanes.

Question for Cardiac Cane readers: What do you think the score will be tonight?

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