(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes have been
heading in opposite directions since they split a home-and-home series in mid-
The Capitals try to extend a five-game road point streak on Tuesday evening
in a meeting with the Hurricanes, losers in eight of their past nine.
Washington and Carolina traded road victories when they met on March 12 and
the 14, with the Capitals getting third-period goals from Alex Ovechkin and
Mike Ribeiro to claim a 3-2 victory two days after getting shut out at home by
the Hurricanes 4-0.
Riley Nash scored twice for Carolina in that win and Justin Peters notched a
26-save shutout, the second of his career.
The Hurricanes led the Southeast Division by three points over the Winnipeg
Jets heading into that March 14 meeting with the Capitals, who sat 10 points
back of first place at the time.
However, Carolina has gone 1-7-1 in its last nine to fall into a tie for
second place with Washington, which has posted a 6-3-1 record since getting
shut out by the 'Canes.
The clubs sit four points back of the first-place Jets, who visit the New York
Islanders on Tuesday, with games in hand. Carolina and Washington are also
tied for 10th overall in the Eastern Conference, three points back of the
The Hurricanes have won four of their last six overall against the Capitals,
but Washington has claimed victory in five of its last seven in Carolina.
That is where the Caps wrap a three-game road trip and they had won their
previous four as the guest before suffering a 5-4 overtime loss at the
Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. Washington failed to hold a two-goal lead in
the third period, giving up the tying marker with 9.5 seconds left in
Ovechkin and Marcus Johansson netted power-play goals 26 seconds apart in the
third period, while Nicklas Backstrom and Mike Green also scored. Braden
Holtby stopped 29-of-34 shots in defeat.
"It's tough obviously. It's bad, but we needed to make more of an effort on
our part the last couple of minutes there," Backstrom said.
Washington, though, is still 4-1-1 in its last six and has the services of a
red-hot Ovechkin, who has a goal in eight of his past 10 games, with nine
total in that span. The Russian superstar also has 12 points over an eight-
game point streak.
Carolina could use a player like Ovechkin for its struggling power play, which
sits last in the NHL at 12.7 percent. The Hurricanes are 0-for-11 on the man
advantage over their last two games and just 1-for-17 in the past four. They
failed on all five chances on Monday night in a 4-1 loss to the Montreal
Jordan Staal had the lone goal of the game for the Hurricanes and Peters was
charged with three goals on 28 shots in the loss.
"Our power play hasn't been good for us most of the season," said Staal. "When
the games are there, we need a big goal and our power play has to step up,
including myself. We have to find our way to score goals. We're making good
plays, but we have to put it in the back of the net."
Peters has started the past four games with No. 1 netminder Cam Ward and
backup Dan Ellis out due to injury. Ellis was activated off injured reserve on
Monday, having been out with a lower body injury. He served as the backup
versus the Canadiens.
The Hurricanes begin a three-game homestand.
The Sports Network