Fri, 24 Jan 2020

Capitals, Canes to meet for final time this season

Field Level Media
13 Jan 2020, 08:05 GMT+10

Carolina and host Washington will meet Monday heading in opposite directions, with the Hurricanes on a three-game winning streak, while the Capitals will try to snap a two-game losing skid.

The teams, who battled in last year's Eastern Conference playoffs, will face each other for the final timethis season and third time since Dec. 28. Carolina won 3-2 in overtime at Washington on Oct. 5 and the teams have split the last two meetings.

The Hurricanes have been playing good defense, evidenced by shutouts in their last two games, including Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Los Angeles Kings. Goaltender James Reimer finished with 41 saves and Nino Niederreiter and Teuvo Teravainen each scored once, the latter into an empty net with four seconds remaining.

Goalie Petr Mrazek posted his third shutout on Friday night with NHL.com reporting that Reimer and Mrazek are the first pair of goalies with at least three shutouts in the same season in franchise history.

"It's the game. If you don't have the goaltending, you're not going to go very far," Carolina coach Ron Brind'Amour told NHL.com "You need to have the goaltending and saves at the right time. You've seen that lately."

Carolina has registered five victories in its last seven games, all at home where the Hurricanes are 15-8-0.

The Capitals are coming off one of the season's worst performances, a 5-1 loss to the struggling New Jersey Devils at home on Saturday night. Jakub Vrana scored the Caps' only goal.

The Capitals surrendered a short-handed goal, just as they had done in a 3-2 loss at Philadelphia on Wednesday. Washington was 1 of 5 on the power play against New Jersey extending recent struggles while playing with the man advantage.

Washington has dropped consecutive games in regulation for just the second time this season. The Capitals also have lost four of their last seven games.

Coach Todd Reirden said his team just needs to keep working harder at the basics.

"I just think we're going through a time in the season right now where we're not executing and we're not outworking the opponent," Reirden said, according to the Washington Post. "If you're not going to do those things, then you're not going to have success in this league. It doesn't matter if you're playing the best team in the league, the worst team in the league, anywhere in between -- that's not our identity."

Washington's T.J. Oshie was among four players who won the Last Men In voting for the NHL All-Star Game. It is his second All-Star Game nod.

This month's All-Star Game will be played in St. Louis, where Oshie began his career in 2008. St. Louis picked him in the first round (24th overall) of the 2005 draft and he posted 310 points in 443 games with the Blues before joining Washington in 2015.

With the Capitals, Oshie has scored 120 goals and 40 power-play goals.

The Capitals made one roster move during the weekend, sending Christian Djoos to Hersey of the American Hockey League. He had been dealing with an upper-body injury.

Richard Panik suffered a cut during the second period of the New Jersey loss and did not return. Reirden told media members after the game that he was expecting to be available for Carolina.

--Field Level Media

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