Capitals-Hurricanes Preview

Associated Press  |  Last updated April 02, 2013
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Kevin Durant says he has not thought about free agency yet

Report: Ken Hitchcock to return as head coach of the Blues

Bernie Sanders attends Game 7 of Warriors-Thunder series

NHL players in the Olympics may hinge on who picks up cost

Biyombo willing to take discount to stay in Toronto

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Baylor AD Ian McCaw will resign

Dolphins DE Dion Jordan applies for NFL reinstatement

Bills OT ready to rejoin team after mysterious absence

David Wright dealing with herniated disc in neck

Tyronn Lue not concerned with who Cavs play in Finals

WATCH: UNC men's lacrosse wins NCAA title in frantic OT

Draymond Green, Steven Adams get tangled up

NFL stars who could retire after the 2016 season

Steven Wright throws impossible knuckleball for strikeout

WATCH: David Villa slipped on embarrassing PK miss

WATCH: Michigan State creates enormous rally cap

Defense could play a huge role in who wins the Stanley Cup

Kobe once told Iguodala he'd drop 50 on him, almost did it

Jeanie Buss: Phil Jackson committed to Knicks

WATCH: J.T. Barrett sends great Memorial Day tribute

Why Man U fans shouldn't be too excited about Jose Mourinho

Klay Thompson is a bonafide superstar no matter the context

Mr. T: Muhammad Ali broke up crime in rough neighborhoods

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Defense could play a huge role in who wins the Stanley Cup

Speedy pace of the Penguins-Sharks Stanley Cup Final

How expanded instant replay has hurt the NBA

Best regular-season NBA teams not to win a championship

Every time an NBA team came back from a 3-1 deficit (and what it means for the Warriors)

How disallowed goals can change the course of NHL games

The five most disappointing MLB teams this season

QUIZ: Identify these NHL Hall of Famers by their nicknames

QUIZ: Name every winner of the Belmont Stakes since 1867

Sniping quotes highlight NHL conference finals animosity

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker