[7:30 PM] Capitals @ Hurricanes

Who will WIN this matchup?

Washington Capitals (18-7-3)

@ Carolina Hurricanes (12-11-6)


Starting Goalies:

Philipp Grubauer(WSH): Confirmed

Cam Ward(CAR): Confirmed


The Washington Capitals have won a season high-tying five in a row and recorded at least a point in 21 of 28 games to inexplicably find themselves in fifth place in the top-heavy Metropolitan Division. Last season’s Presidents’ Trophy recipients look to improve their standing at the expense of a division foe on Friday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes.

Evgeny Kutznetsov, who scored in the first meeting with Carolina, set up a pair of goals on Tuesday to extend his assist streak to a career high-tying five games. The 24-year-old Russian’s 13 assists are four shy of team leader Nicklas Backstrom, who has recorded 16 points (seven goals, nine assists) in his last 14 games. The 29-year-old Swede has tormented Carolina in his career, collecting 50 points (14 goals, 36 assists) in 46 encounters – marking the most points he has registered against an NHL franchise.

Victor Rask scored in the first encounter with Washington and has recorded six points (one goal, five assists) in his last three games to move within one of team leader Jeff Skinner. Like Rask, Skinner also notched a three-point performance in the offensive slugfest against the Canucks and his 25 points in 28 games have him on pace to challenge his career-best total of 63 in his Calder Trophy-winning season in 2010-11. Veteran goaltender Cam Ward received an early hook after permitting three goals on 18 shots versus Vancouver, but looks to benefit from home cooking on Friday as he is 6-2-0 with a 1.91 goals-against average at PNC Arena.

Washington has scored a power-play goal in five of its last six games and collected 12 tallies with the man advantage in its last 13.

The Hurricanes are just 2-5-1 versus Metropolitan Division rivals while the Capitals are 3-4-2.

Washington captain Alex Ovechkin has recorded 76 points (31 goals, 45 assists) in 66 career games versus the Hurricanes, marking his third-most points against an NHL franchise (Winnipeg/Atlanta 88, Tampa Bay 81


StreakSmarts Pick:Washington Capitals  

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick