Washington Capitals (27-7-5) vs Carolina Hurricanes (22-14-2)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV% / # SO|
|Washington Capitals||Braden Holtby||17-5-4||2.87 / .907 / 0|
|Carolina Hurricanes||Petr Mrazek||14-8-2||2.68 / .902 / 2|
In the second night of this back-to-back, the Washington Capitals head to Raleigh, North Carolina to take on the Carolina Hurricanes. The last time these two teams met was on the night of the Capitals home opener, and Carolina took down Washington by a score of 3-2.
Last night, the Capitals defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets (finally), 2-1, in overtime. Michal Kempny did not play due to illness, and Christian Djoos was recalled from Hershey to fill in for the defenseman. Washington has managed to defeat Columbus just once in their last six meetings, and have lost to the Blue Jackets in four straight. The first period was scoreless and lacked even a single power play. Both teams had a handful of great scoring chances, but neither would solve the oppositions’ goal tender. Columbus received the first power play of the game as Tom Wilson was called for tripping, but the Caps’ 2nd ranked penalty kill would keep the Blue Jackets from scoring. John Tortorella’s team would receive just one more man-advantage, and they would fail to convert. Riddled by injuries, Columbus has been forced to utilize many of their AHL’ers and Jakob Lilja, in just his third game since November 1st, would score his first of the season, giving the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead halfway through the game. Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson appeared to suffer leg injuries, but both were able to finish the game. Carl Hagelin, also with his first of the year, tied the game at one goal each at the 6:13 mark of the third period. Washington, in their previous two games against Columbus, have been outscored 8-2, but this one was much closer. The Capitals, in a twist of fate, received five power play opportunities, but it was the last one of the game that would mean the most. Just about halfway through the overtime period, Nathan Gerbe would be called for hooking, giving the Capitals an extra skater. Not even 60 seconds later, TJ Oshie, overtime hero, would finally solve Joonas Korpisalo, who had been lights out all night. With his 15th goal of the season, Oshie would help Washington to finally defeat the Blue Jackets, and improve the teams’ record to 27-7-5. Ilya Samonsov, allowing just one goal on 28 shots, ended the night with a .964 save percentage. Braden Holtby is slated to start versus Carolina.
The Carolina Hurricanes also played last night, and despite scoring first, ultimately lost to the New York Rangers, 5-3. Carolina is currently riding a three-game win-less streak, but has only lost three or more consecutive games three times this season. Lucas Wallmark started off the scoring just five minutes and 15 seconds into the first period, but Carolina was unable to convert of either of their two first period power plays. Mika Zibanejad, at the 16:31 mark, scored his 13th of the season on the Rangers power play, after Warren Foegele went off for interference six seconds earlier. The Rangers would go on to score three more goals in the 2nd period. Chris Kreider at the 1:27 mark, Artemi Panarin six minutes later, and Zibanejad (2nd of the game) again on the power play gave New York a comfortable 4-1 lead. Brett Pesce cut that lead in half with just under three minutes left in the period. Sebastian Aho scored his 22nd of the year just one minute and forty seconds into the third period, leaving Carolina just one goal away from tying the Rangers, but Ryan Strome would make it 5-3 at the 13:49 mark. Of the four power plays received, New York converted on two. Carolina severely outshot the Rangers 42-24, but an 0-for-5 Canes power play handed Rod Brind’amours team their 14th regulation loss of the season. Interestingly, the Hurricanes special teams are among the top 10 in the league, with their power play clocking in at 7th best (23.1%) and their penalty killing coming in at 8th (82.6%) (TheScore). Petr Mrazek is just 3-5-2 all-time versus the Capitals, and he is expected to start for Carolina (HockeyReference).
Coverage of the game begins at 6:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 6:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 7:00pm.
HockeyReference. (2019). Petr Mrazek Career Splits. Retrieved from https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/m/mrazepe01/splits/.
TheScore. (2019). Carolina Hurricanes at New York Rangers. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/22310.
TheScore. (2019). Carolina Hurricanes News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/12.