Posted April 02, 2013 on AP on Fox
The Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes are trying to close the gap in the Eastern Conference playoff race. A meeting in Raleigh might indicate the advantage goes to the visitor. The Capitals attempt to win for the sixth time in eight visits to PNC Arena on Tuesday night while the Hurricanes try to snap a four-game slide at home. Washington (16-17-2) and Carolina (16-16-2) are tied for 10th in the conference, three points behind the New York Rangers and Islanders for the eighth and final playoff position. The Capitals and Hurricanes are also vying for the Southeast Division title, sitting four points behind first-place Winnipeg, which visits the Islanders. Washington may have the edge in trying to cut into those deficits since it's won five of the past seven road meetings with Carolina, including a 3-2 victory March 14 after dropping the opener of the home-and-home set 4-0 two days earlier. The latest matchup with the Hurricanes was the opener of a stretch of nine of 11 games on the road for Washington, which is 6-3-1 over that span heading back to Carolina. The Capitals appeared to be on their way to a fifth straight road victory Sunday, but they blew a two-goal, third-period lead to Philadelphia, yielding the equalizer with 9.5 seconds left in regulation. They then allowed a goal 1:34 into overtime in a 5-4 loss. "It keeps getting tougher because we keep playing teams that we have to try and leapfrog to get into the playoffs," right wing Troy Brouwer told the Capitals' official website. Alex Ovechkin has heated up for the Capitals, tallying nine goals - six on the power play - and five assists over the last 10 games. The star left wing scored again on the man-advantage against the Flyers, running his season-high point streak to eight games. Ovechkin hasn't had points in nine straight since Jan. 27-Feb. 11, 2010. He figures to have a good chance to match that run with 32 points in 24 visits to Raleigh after getting two there last month. The Hurricanes are mired in a 1-8-1 slide that continued with Monday's 4-1 loss at Montreal. They've lost a season-high four straight at home, a skid that started with the most recent defeat to the Capitals. "We haven't consistently found our game," said Jordan Staal, who scored his team's lone goal Monday. "We've had some spurts and played a really solid game in Winnipeg (on Saturday). Again, even (Monday), we had some spurts here and there, but it's just not a consistent game that we're playing." Making the playoffs will be extremely difficult if Carolina can't improve offensively. The Hurricanes have been held to 15 goals over the past 10 games, scoring one in seven of those contests. Eric Staal is looking to rebound from Monday's pointless effort after accumulating 10 over the previous 10 games. The Hurricanes captain has 14 goals and 19 assists in 28 career home meetings with Washington, collecting six points in the past three.

Capitals re-sign Hillen, make several other moves

The Washington Capitals have re-signed defenseman Jack Hillen to a two-year, $1.4 million contract extension, one of several moves made by the team Tuesday. Hillen will earn $700,000 in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. He has played in 10 games this year after missing 25 with an injury. The Capitals also assigned defensemen Tomas Kundratek and Dmitry Orlov to Hershey of the...

Hurricanes' Pitkanen suffers scary injury

RALEIGH, N.C. Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen left Tuesday nights game against the Washington Capitals on a stretcher after suffering an injury when he crashed into the boards late in the second period. The Hurricanes were calling it a lower body injury well after the Capitals left PNC Arena with a 5-3 victory, and video replay suggests it could be pretty bad. Carolina...

Hurricanes’ Joni Pitkanen Stretchered Off Ice After Crashing Into Boards

Image via USA Today Joni Pitkanen suffered a season-ending ankle injury after crashing hard into the boards on an icing call. The Carolina Hurricanes defenseman was rushing to beat Troy Brouwer to the puck, but ended up going feet-first into the boards and severely injuring his ankle. He eventually had to be stretchered off the ice and TSN’s Darren Dreger has reported that he...

Alex Ovechkin Is Awesome Again

Here to collect the winnings for nailing his Redskins-Seahawks prediction four months ago is Ben Reed (AKA ThisGuy). Lots going on in the sports world, so I don’t blame you if you haven’t noticed an exciting recent development: Alex Ovechkin is back, in a big way. Dude has 10 goals in his last nine games. That’s a 90-plus-goal pace over an 82-game season, and if you’ve been...

Gophers Schmidt signs with NHL's Capitals

MINNEAPOLIS Gophers junior Nate Schmidt was one of the best defensemen in college hockey this season. Now he's being rewarded at the next level. Schmidt announced Tuesday that he will forego his senior season at Minnesota and turn pro. The St. Cloud native, who was undrafted, signed a two-year entry-level deal with the Washington Capitals. "This wasn't an easy decision...

Capitals 5, Hurricanes 3

Alex Ovechkin had two goals and an assist, and the Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 5-3 Tuesday night despite allowing three goals to Jiri Tlusty. Mike Green scored two goals, Joel Ward added a goal, Nicklas Backstrom matched a career high with four assists and Braden Holtby made 31 saves. Washington trailed 2-0 early before scoring five goals on its first 11 shots...

Lightning acquire Adam Hall from Hurricanes

The Tampa Bay Lightning gained forward Adam Hall and a seventh-round pick this year from the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for defenseman Marc-Andre Bergeron, the team announced Tuesday. The move represents a return trip to Tampa Bay for Hall, who was claimed on waivers by the Hurricanes on March 16 after the Lightning placed him on the wire a day earlier. He has played 20 games...

LeBrun: Carolina trades Jussi Jokinen to Pittsburgh

Per ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, the Penguins are apparently acquiring EVERYBODY.... Carolina has moved Jussi Jokinen to the Pittsburgh Penguins, pending a trade call — Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) April 3, 2013 What is it with conditional picks? CAR trading Jussi Jokinen to PIT for a conditional pick. Trade call pending. CAR is taking back some money in...

Capital Transactions: Deadline Day

The Washington Capitals made several transactions on the penultimate trading day of the season.  To recap them: -The Capitals traded minor league forward Matt Clackson to the Phoenix Coyotes for former Capital RWJoel Rechlicz, who will report to the AHL Hershey Bears.  "Recker," he of the wooden stick, played 3 games for the Capitals last season.  This season, he...

Trade Deadline Roadblocks

We are only one day away from the trade deadline and every Hurricanes fan is wondering why GM Jim Rutherford has yet to make any moves. It seems pretty confusing at first glance because the Canes are currently in the middle of a playoff race and have been playing some of their worst hockey of the season. Since Rutherford has yet to make any deal at all, some fans have gotten the...

Can Marc-Andre Bergeron Help the Hurricanes?

The Hurricanes trade for a "veteran defenseman" finally happened, only the player they acquired was someone nobody expected. Instead of getting a "gritty veteran defenseman" like many thought, Rutherford added some help to the powerplay by acquiring Marc-Andre Bergeron from the Tampa Bay Lightning. All the Canes gave up to acquire him was a 7th round pick and...

Time for the NHL to go to the hybrid icing like the NCAA

Time for the NHL to reconsider their stance on the touch up icing. This could be prevented if the NHL adopts the Hybrid Icing, like the NCAA currently has. I think it's a no-brainier. Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen hits leg first into the end boards racing for the puck, Pitkanen is then taken off the ice on a stretcher.

Matt Karash: Canes trade deadline direction?

A couple weeks ago, I would have said that the Canes trade deadline direction would have been reasonably predictable. Nothing huge was going to happen - that happened last summer with the Jordan Staal and Alexander Semin additions. With Ruutu on the way back, the possibilities at forward were many even if nothing past the 1st line was clicking yet. And despite being a bit offense...
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