Flyers vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Capitals

Maurice Expects Fast-Paced, but Physical Game

Friday, 11.4.2011 / 12:26 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Capitals

In recent history, the Washington Capitals have been the measuring stick for the Southeast Division, at least in the regular season. In their only match-up with the Caps this season, the Canes measured up nicely.

Michael Smith
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In that game on October 8, Jussi Jokinen scored in the final 90 seconds to tie the game at three and force overtime. Mike Green – who the Capitals might be without tonight – scored the eventual game-winner on a power play in overtime, but the Canes left with a well-deserved point.

Tonight, they’ll get another crack at a Washington team that won its first seven games. After losing two straight, the Capitals topped the Ducks in overtime.

“They’re just a [darn] good team. They’re deep,” head coach Paul Maurice said of tonight’s opponent. “They changed their look a little bit, but they have good goaltending and some good young defenseman. Understandably, their high-end talent gets most of the coverage and rightfully so.

“It makes it harder to run your match-up against them. You go in with your game plan and then you’ve got to try to find who’s hot on their team and who’s going on your team and try to get that match-up in-game.”

Maurice previewed tonight’s tilt, saying that it would be a fast-paced and physical game.

“The team that wins the special teams war usually does well,” he said.

That much was true on October 8. The Canes scored two power play goals, but they also surrendered two, including Green’s 4-on-3 overtime goal.

Since then, the Canes have, overall, made a habit of staying out of the penalty box. When they do get into penalty trouble, they’ve been strong on the kill as of late, killing 29 of their opponents’ last 33 power plays (87.9 percent).

While Eric Staal hasn’t been lighting up the scoresheet lately, he did against the Capitals earlier this season. In that game, Staal had three points (2g, 1a). He is also a point-per-game career player against Washington, recording 50 points (22g, 28a) in as many games.

“I felt good that night,” he said about his game earlier this season. “You always have to bring your best against Washington.

“I don’t like losing to them. I don’t like losing to anybody. They’re a team that I’ve played a lot over my career.”

Call-ups Zach Boychuk and Drayson Bowman will surround center Tim Brent on the fourth line tonight. But that doesn’t mean Maurice anticipates the line to have minimal impact.

“We expect a game out of them,” he said. “I know we have a couple of young guys on the wings, but we don’t feel the need to hide those guys over the course of the game.”

At home, the Caps are 6-0 on the young season, but on the road they’ve posted a record of just 2-2. Since losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning on opening night, the Canes are 3-0-1 at home in their last four games. If the Canes can come out with the effort they had against Tampa Bay on Tuesday, we should be in for another good game tonight.

”It takes a lot of fight to be able to be ready to compete against them but it’s a lot of fun,” Staal said. “It’s a good challenge. For me, I look forward to it.”

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 x - MTL 76 47 21 8 200 169 102
2 x - NYR 75 47 21 7 228 177 101
3 TBL 76 46 23 7 244 198 99
4 NYI 77 45 27 5 235 215 95
5 PIT 75 41 23 11 207 188 93
6 DET 75 40 23 12 220 206 92
7 WSH 76 41 25 10 223 188 92
8 BOS 76 38 25 13 201 196 89
9 OTT 75 37 26 12 218 203 86
10 FLA 76 35 26 15 190 207 85
11 PHI 76 30 29 17 198 219 77
12 CBJ 75 36 35 4 207 232 76
13 NJD 76 31 33 12 168 194 74
14 CAR 75 28 36 11 174 204 67
15 TOR 76 28 42 6 198 244 62
16 BUF 75 20 47 8 144 254 48

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 70 21 28 -12 49
J. Faulk 75 15 32 -17 47
E. Lindholm 74 16 21 -19 37
J. Skinner 70 18 13 -21 31
V. Rask 73 11 20 -12 31
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
N. Gerbe 71 8 17 -13 25
J. McClement 75 7 13 -3 20
A. Nestrasil 47 7 13 4 20
J. Staal 39 4 16 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 20 21 5 .911 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 15 6 .904 2.60