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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, December 20th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (18-13-3) at Carolina Hurricanes (14-13-7), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes will try to improve to 3-0 against the Washington Capitals when they host Friday's Metropolitan Division clash at PNC Arena.

The Hurricanes already have earned at least a split of the four-game season series against the Caps, winning a pair of road meetings earlier in the campaign.

Carolina notched a 3-2 regulation win in D.C. on Nov. 10 and then recorded a 4-1 decision on Dec. 3. Despite those wins, the Capitals have still taken four of the last seven overall meetings in this series and Washington also has claimed two straight and six of the past eight encounters in Raleigh.

The Hurricanes, who are 4-1-2 over their last six outings, enter Thursday's divisional battle in fourth place in the Metro standings, one point behind Philadelphia for the division's last automatic playoff berth. The Flyers are off on Friday, but they pulled ahead of Carolina after Thursday's home win over Columbus.

Carolina halted a three-game slide in its last trip to the ice, as it salvaged the final test of a four-game road trip by winning in Phoenix last Saturday. The well-rested Hurricanes hope to pick up where they left off tonight, as they aim to build off Saturday's 3-1 win in the desert.

The 'Canes were tied at 1-1 with the Coyotes after two periods before Jeff Skinner notched the game-winner three minutes into the final stanza. The score remained 2-1 until Eric Staal registered an empty-net goal to seal it with six seconds left.

Nathan Gerbe also scored and Staal totaled three points on a goal and two assists. Justin Peters made 37 saves for the win.

Skinner has scored a goal in three straight games and has eight tallies over his last seven contests. He also has two goals and three assists in Carolina's two wins against the Caps this season.

"When you're getting chances, that's the way it goes sometimes. We're creating chances as a line and I've been lucky to capitalize on a few," said Skinner.

Beginning with tonight's tilt, the Hurricanes will play four of their next six games on home ice. Carolina is 7-6-4 as the host this season.

The Capitals will try to bounce back from just their second regulation loss in the last nine games when they take the ice on Friday. Washington dropped a 5-2 decision Tuesday in Philadelphia, dropping the club to 6-2-1 over the last nine outings.

Washington posted a 5-4 shootout win in the opener of a home-and-home series with visiting Philadelphia on Sunday, but the Flyers answered back with a victory in their home portion of the series. The loss dropped the Caps to 6-6-3 as the road club this season, a record that pales in comparison to Washington's 12-7-0 mark as the host.

With the scored tied at 2-2 late in the second period, Philadelphia was given a five-minute power play after Flyers forward Brayden Schenn was drilled by Washington's Tom Wilson, who was given a 10-minute misconduct for the charge. The Flyers made the Caps pay by scoring twice during the lengthy advantage, with Mark Streit and Jakub Voracek tallying the goals for Philly.

Wilson had a disciplinary hearing with the league for his hit, but was informed on Thursday that he will not be suspended.

"To be honest with you, I don't think it was a dirty play," Wilson's teammate Alex Ovechkin said. "He saw the hit coming, he turned, and Willy (Tom Wilson) is a big boy. It's always dangerous out there, it's hockey. When you get hit, you have to be ready, especially at the boards. I don't think he was ready, I think he was going to turn, but Willy just finished his check."

Ovechkin and Eric Fehr scored on Tuesday for the Capitals, who had won four of five heading into the finale of the home-and-home. Braden Holtby allowed five goals on 35 shots in the loss.

Mikhail Grabovski is expected to return tonight after the forward missed the last two games for the Capitals. Meanwhile, Carolina defenseman Brett Bellemore and forward Elias Lindholm are questionable for Thursday's clash.

12/20 10:56:47 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
Final
CHI 103
NYK 97
Final
HOU 90
NOP 99
Final
SAC 107
MIL 108
Final
GSW 114
OKC 109
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
CHA
 
7:00pm Tonight
ORL
UTA
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
BRK
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
TOR
 
7:30pm Tonight
MIA
WAS
 
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
CHI
 
8:00pm Tonight
SAN
POR
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
LAC
 
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
OKC
 
Final
RICE 72
STTHOMASTX 61
 
Final
UVA 70
CLST 54
Final
LIU 69
FIU 58
 
Final
STET 67
GSOUT 76
 
Final
QUIN 80
LEH 65
 
Final
SFLA 69
SHU 89
Final
RICH 65
SALA 54
Final
CAN 60
USB 59
 
Final
DEL 62
TEMPL 82
Final
WCU 56
WRST 69
 
Final
VERM 56
YALE 57
 
Final
SDKST 75
IDST 72
 
Final
RIDE 62
MRGST 48
 
Final
LATU 79
NICST 54
 
Final
CHAR 75
APP 65
Final
MISS 71
CCAR 68
 
Final
DUKE 66
UCONN 56
Final
BRAD 80
EUREK 38
 
Final
PEAY 76
OAKC 52
 
Final
JST 66
SMISS 46
 
Final
SD 55
MNTST 53
 
Final
UAB 70
LSU 79
Final
EVAN 81
OHIO 69
 
Final
CSFU 72
CSDH 50
 
Final
ORST 90
DEP 59
Final
PAC 69
NEV 65
Final
USF 77
PORST 40
 
Final
IDAHO 86
WALLA 39
 
Final
UTST 57
CALST 56
 
1:30pm Today
YOUNG
WILB
 
2:00pm Today
TULA
JST
 
6:00pm Tonight
RAD
SIENA
 
7:00pm Tonight
MERC
COOK
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUCK
CASEWEST
 
7:00pm Tonight
LIB
CPNC
 
7:00pm Tonight
SCAR
CLEM
 
7:00pm Tonight
CMICH
CONC
 
7:00pm Tonight
MIAMI
EKENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
GWEBB
HIWASSEE
 
7:00pm Tonight
ODU
MDES
 
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
NIAG
 
7:00pm Tonight
KSU
NCAT
 
7:00pm Tonight
FAM
UNF
 
7:00pm Tonight
NORST
NARZ
 
7:00pm Tonight
DART
NILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
MORE
NKENTUCKY
 
7:00pm Tonight
UCSB
SDCHR
 
7:00pm Tonight
STJ
GAELS
 
7:00pm Tonight
ALA
STILL
 
7:00pm Tonight
HAMP
TENST
 
7:00pm Tonight
TENN
TENT
 
7:00pm Tonight
WMARY
WSHMD
 
7:30pm Tonight
FLGC
FUR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CALST
SDKST
 
8:00pm Tonight
MTST
CHAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
NDAK
DICKINSON
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAMON
LSUALEX
 
8:00pm Tonight
PRIN
LIP
 
8:00pm Tonight
LAM
MLGN
 
8:00pm Tonight
MINN
SEAT
 
8:00pm Tonight
LOYC
SUTAH
 
8:00pm Tonight
SELA
WINT
 
8:05pm Tonight
SILL
NO
 
9:00pm Tonight
MARQ
ALAAM
 
9:00pm Tonight
TTU
ARKPB
 
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
COLST
 
9:00pm Tonight
CREI
TXPA
 
10:00pm Tonight
CAL
EWASH
 
10:05pm Tonight
UTST
IDST
 
11:00pm Tonight
UTEP
ARZ
 
11:59pm Tonight
CHAM
HAW
 
Final
PIT 1
COL 0
Final
PHI 1
FLA 2
Final
CAR 4
TOR 1
Final
CLB 4
WAS 5
Final
MON 1
ANA 2
Final
SJS 4
EDM 3
Final
LOS 6
STL 4
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
TAM
 
7:30pm Tonight
OTT
ANA
 
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYI
 
8:00pm Tonight
WIN
BOS
 
9:00pm Tonight
CAL
DAL
 
Final
JAC 21
TEN 13