The Washington Capitals are back home after they struggled a bit on a road trip that ended with three straight California games. The Caps started off the road trip with a pair of impressive wins: a 2-1 overtime win over the Boston Bruins in Beantown followed by a 2-1 shootout win in Anaheim against one of the NHL’s hottest teams the Ducks. The Kings nearly blew a 3-0 lead but held on in overtime to win 4-3. The final game in the road trip proved to be the worst as the Sharks owned the Capitals in the third with a 5-2 win and swept the season series, outscoring the Caps 10-2.
Slowly Fading Away
The Carolina Hurricanes come into this game desperately needing a win after losing seven of their last 12 games . They sit sixth in the Metropolitan and five points back of Detroit for a wild card spot with 74 points. The Hurricane are 24th in goals per game (2.4), 18th in Goals Against (2.7), 19th in the Power Play (17.7%), 8th in Penalty Kill (83.1%) and are 2-5 in their last seven road games.
Ten-year NHL veteran starting goaltender Cam Ward hasn’t had the season he wanted. He looks to bounce back after losing a heartbreaker in the closing seconds of overtime to Buffalo 3-2. His current season record is 20-15-8 with a 2.44 GAA and .907 save percentage. He also has recorded a sub-.900 save percentage in seven of his last 10 starts.
- With 14 games remaining and a cut line at around 94 points, the Canes need to pick up around 75% of their remaining available points just to stay in the hunt.
The Washington Capitals are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. They have the best home record in the NHL at 26-6-2 (54 points) and currently sit in the top four of goals per game (3.2), goals against (2.3), power play (23.8%) and penalty kill (84.1%).
Braden Holtby looks to start after getting some rest over the weekend. He has 14 games to win seven and tie Martin Brodeur’s single-season win record. His current season record is 41-8-4 with a 2.25 GAA and .922 save percentage. Holtby has looked human while going 1-2-1 in his last four starts. That four-game stretch came against a quartet of playoff-bound teams, so expect the Capitals netminder to rebound with an easier schedule looming up ahead.
- Over the last five games, the Caps have been outscored 8-0 in the first period and have allowed the first goal in 13 of the last 15 games.
- Alex Ovechkin’s scoreless streak continues as he has now been held without a goal in his last five games.
The Capitals are looking to win number 50 for the third time. Puck drop is at 7 p.m. Tuesday night!
Written by: Christopher Johnson
Photos by: Brittney Marcum