Washington Capitals (33-19-10) at Carolina Hurricanes (22-30-7)
|Date & Time||Friday February 27, 2015, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Carolina Hurricanes +125 / Washington Capitals -138 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Washington Capitals look to bounce back on Friday night when they travel to Carolina to take on the Hurricanes. After reeling off four consecutive victories the Capitals have now lost two straight games and find their position in the Metropolitan Division standings slipping. Washington is currently fourth in the division and occupying the first wild card position rather comfortably over the Boston Bruins. Things looked to be going well for the Caps after Saturday’s afternoon win over the first place New York Islanders, but they followed that up with a lackluster performance and a loss the next day in Philadelphia. Trying to get back on track on Wednesday night at home against the Pittsburgh Penguins the Capitals found themselves behind the eight ball early. Braden Holtby was beaten by a shot that he probably should have had from Patric Hornqvist and late in the period he was unable to stop Brandon Sutter shorthanded on a breakaway. John Carlson cut the deficit to one with a laser of a shot that beat Marc-Andre Fleury with just nine seconds remaining in the period, but the Capitals were never able to get the game even. Troy Brouwer’s 18th goal of the year early in the third period made it a 3-2 game after Sidney Crosby had scored in the second to increase Pittsburgh’s lead. Chris Kunitz would score the eventual game winner just over three minutes later. Holtby’s record dropped to 29-14-9 and it will be interesting to see just how much gas he has left in the take come the post season given how much head coach Barry Trotz has played him. Alex Ovechkin scored his 39th goal of the season late in the third period with the Capitals on the power play.
Carolina finally unloaded Andrej Sekera after they were unable to get him signed to a long term extension, and they managed to get back a first round draft pick from the Los Angeles Kings. It’s disappointing for the organization to lose a player of Sekera’s caliber but this looks like it’s going to be a full rebuilding effort to the Hurricanes. Tuesday night the Hurricanes hosted the Flyers and played one of their better games of the season. With the game tied 1-1 early in the second period it was Jeff Skinner with his 15th goal of the year to give the Hurricanes a 2-1 lead. Jordan Staal would add a power play goal and in the third period Jay McClement would finish the scoring for Carolina in the 4-1 win. The Hurricanes out shot the Flyers 35-24 in the game, went 2-for-4 on the power play, and killed off both Philadelphia power plays. This is going to be an interesting couple of days for the Hurricanes because they have some pieces that other teams are going to be interested in but they might not want to give up. The rebuilding has begun but there are a lot of holes to fill if they want to be competitive in an extremely deep division.
Washington has played some pretty good hockey lately but they need to find a way to pick up points in games like these. The Capitals are at a decent price here and I’d expect them to bounce back in this one.