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Lightning vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Gameday: Hurricanes vs. Capitals

Maurice Expects Fast-Paced, but Physical Game

Friday, 11.04.2011 / 12:26 PM / 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 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45