current subscribers Register me
not a subscriber? See my options

current subscribers Register me
not a subscriber? See my options

already a subscriber? Register me
Subscribe now See my options
National Hockey League
Preview
Carolina at Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia

Captain Alex Ovechkin needs to score just once more to reach the 50-goal plateau for the sixth time in his career, matching Guy Lafleur, Marcel Dionne and Mario Lemieux while moving within three seasons of tying Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky. Ovechkin looks to accomplish that feat and send the Washington Capitals to their sixth win in eight games when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. The three-time Hart Trophy winner joined Jason Chimera in tallying twice as Washington skated to a 5-2 triumph over the New York Rangers on Sunday and moved within three points of third place in the Metropolitan Division.

For all of his success this season, Ovechkin has collected just one assist in three meetings with cellar-dwelling Carolina. While the Capitals are leading the wild-card race in the Eastern Conference, the Hurricanes are playing out the string as they enter Tuesday with losses in eight of their last 11 (3-4-4). Nathan Gerbe scored his team's lone goal in a 2-1 overtime setback to Boston on Sunday and also tallied in a 3-0 victory over Washington on Feb. 27.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, FSN Carolinas, CSN-DC (Washington)

ABOUT THE HURRICANES (28-36-11): Riley Nash has collected a goal and two assists versus the Capitals this season, but his availability is in question after he was struck near the ear by a puck prior to Sunday's game versus the Bruins. "It doesn't sound good," coach Bill Peters said following the game, and the 25-year-old did not accompany the team on the trip. Defenseman Justin Faulk also has recorded three points against Washington this season - all assists.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (41-25-10): Coach Barry Trotz liked what he saw after shuffling the deck on Sunday, having Evgeny Kuznetsov center a line with Ovechkin and Joel Ward while Nicklas Backstrom was paired with Marcus Johansson and Troy Brouwer. "Backy and Ovi have been together for so long, I always say it's like a marriage," Trotz said. "Sometimes, an odd weekend road trip is probably a good idea. And sometimes it changes it up and you get a little bit invigorated and you forget about, 'Hey, we're not scoring,' or 'We need to produce,' and now you’re working with someone else and it sort of takes your mind off it."

OVERTIME

1. Washington G Braden Holtby's next win will be his 38th of the season, good enough for second best to only Olaf Kolzig (41 in 1999-2000) in franchise history.

2. Carolina's Anton Khudobin started all three meetings versus the Capitals this season, but G Cam Ward is expected to get the nod on Tuesday.

3. Ovechkin's 14 multi-goal performances this season ties his single-season career high set in 2009-10.

PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Hurricanes 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Carolina 28-36-4-7 L1 17-15-2-5 11-21-2-2 5-4-1-0 23-32-3-7 11-11-1-4
Washington 41-25-6-4 W1 21-12-2-3 20-13-4-1 6-4-1-0 35-21-5-4 16-8-4-0
Last Meeting
Carolina Washington
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
2/27/15 WAS 0 CAR 3 38 28 0-2 28 35 0-1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Carolina A. Nestrasil 2
Washington K. Alzner 0
Goals Player  
Carolina B. Bellemore 1
Washington K. Alzner 0
Assists Player  
Carolina A. Nestrasil 2
Washington K. Alzner 0
Saves Player  
Carolina A. Khudobin 28
Washington B. Holtby 35
Season
Total Points Player  
Carolina E. Staal 49
Washington A. Ovechkin 78
Goals Player  
Carolina E. Staal 21
Washington A. Ovechkin 52
Assists Player  
Carolina J. Faulk 33
Washington N. Backstrom 58
Saves Player  
Carolina C. Ward 1173
Washington B. Holtby 1812
Quickchart Matchup
Carolina Off vs  Washington Def
2.27 GF
2.42 GA
30.6 Shots
28.8 Shots
43 PP
45 PK
Washington Off vs  Carolina Def
2.88 GF
2.63 GA
29.8 Shots
27.3 Shots
55 PP
27 PK