The Washington Capitals will travel to take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday. Despite the Capitals’ better record, the Hurricanes are the favorites at home in this one.
This matchup has turned into a small rivalry lately, and it has made for close games each time. Carolina has taken the win in its previous three meetings after the Capitals won the first two meetings of the season.
Needing A Win
Washington is coming off two straight losses to the Hurricanes and Islanders. It was able to put up three goals in one game and four in the other but allowed four or more in each.
The Capitals will need to tighten up on defense and get some better play between the pipes if they want to come away with a road win in this game.
Both John Carlson and Alex Ovechkin have been filling up the stat sheet for the Capitals so far this season. Ovechkin has 24 goals and 15 assists for 39 total points, while Carlson has 13 goals of his own along with 37 assists for 50 total points.
Goaltender Ilya Samsonov will be defending the net in this game. The 22-year-old has a 10-2-1 record so far this season with a 2.28 goals-against average and a .918 save percentage.
The Capitals’ injury report has been growing, and currently has T.J. Oshie, Tom Wilson, and two others all listed as day-to-day. Washington is averaging 3.49 goals per game while allowing 2.93. It is sitting in first place in the Metropolitan Division with 59 points.
The Hurricanes are currently 24-14-2, coming off a deep playoff run in 2018-19. While the Capitals are coming off two straight losses, the Hurricanes have won their last two games after losing their previous three. The Hurricanes are also in the Metro Division, sitting in fourth place with 50 points.
The Hurricanes are led by their young stars, Teuvo Teravainen and Sabastian Aho, who should help them make another playoff push this season. Teravainen has 33 assists and seven goals for 40 total points, while Aho has 23 goals and 13 assists for 36 total points.
The Hurricanes have rotated Petr Mrazek and James Reimer in net so far this season. Mrazek is 16-8-2 with two shutouts and carries a 2.67 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage.
Reimer has an 8-6-0 record with two shutouts of his own, with a 2.69 goals-against average along with a .914 save percentage.
Carolina is averaging 3.35 goals per game while allowing 2.93. It is a -120 favorite at home in this game after defeating the Capitals in their last matchup 6-4 in Washington.
Erik Haula is the only name on the Hurricanes’ injury report, as he is currently listed as day-to-day.
What To Expect
Despite the Hurricanes winning in their last meeting, I still think the Capitals are the better team and should be able to get this win on the road. Samsonov has been excellent between the pipes this season, and I would look for him to get Washington back on track in this one.
While the Capitals’ two-game skid may scare some people away, they posted at least three goals in each game. If it can get the defense corrected in this game, I believe Washington will be right back in the win column.