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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
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
CHA
Final
CLE 110
GSW 99
Final
PHO 117
OKC 113
7:00pm Tonight
IND
CLE
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
WAS
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
CHA
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
GSW
7:30pm Tonight
DET
NYK
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
ORL
8:00pm Tonight
HOU
BRK
8:00pm Tonight
MEM
LAC
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
MIA
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
MIN
9:00pm Tonight
DEN
UTA
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
SAN
10:30pm Tonight
LAL
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
POR
OKC
Final
KNST 53
NKENTUCKY 78
 
Final
CITA 74
ETST 73
 
Final
GWEBB 91
CSOU 81
 
Final
VMI 82
CHAT 86
 
Final
BRY 77
CCST 69
 
Final
PBY 80
CCAR 69
 
Final
DREX 44
DEL 58
 
Final
UNCA 71
HIGH 75
 
Final
TEMPL 66
HOU 54
Final
EKENT 63
JVST 57
 
Final
WRST 58
UWMIL 61
 
Final
MSU 90
MINN 96
Final
RFLSH 63
MNTER 60
 
Final
OSU 81
NEB 57
Final
MAST 67
NEOM 73
 
Final
ELON 72
NE 65
 
Final
LIB 80
RAD 69
 
Final
FD 85
SHU 90
 
Final
UNCG 81
SAMF 67
 
Final
LIU 69
Terriers 74
 
Final
TENN 65
VANDY 73
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 59
 
Final
FUR 53
WCU 49
 
Final
IUPUI 71
WILL 66
 
Final
CAMP 65
WINT 50
 
Final
MERC 72
WOFF 76
 
Final
APP 58
GSOUT 77
 
Final
UNT 81
CHAR 65
Final
MURST 65
EILL 57
 
Final
MARS 87
FIU 69
Final
WKENT 71
FATL 68
Final
ILLCH 67
UWGB 72
 
Final
ORU 74
NDST 58
 
Final
NDAK 75
NARZ 85
 
Final
RICE 54
ODU 63
Final
MON 60
RIDE 63
 
Final
PEAY 64
SIUE 61
 
Final
LATU 77
UTEP 60
Final
SMISS 70
TXSA 66
Final
TENST 52
TENNM 69
 
Final
CHIST 74
GRCN 70
 
Final
UMKC 69
WLVRN 50
 
Final
SALA 57
LAMON 75
 
Final
ARKST 81
TXARL 80
 
Final
ARKLR 92
UGST 83
 
Final
TXST 67
TROY 61
 
Final
COL 54
ARZ 82
Final
PURD 92
RUTG 85
Final
MEM 57
SMU 66
Final
NCOL 77
SUTAH 67
 
Final
MORE 86
TENT 73
 
Final
EWASH 92
MNTST 68
 
Final
PORT 69
BYU 82
 
Final
CSNO 82
CSFU 72
 
Final
IDAHO 92
MONT 87
 
Final
SCU 57
PAC 64
 
Final
UCSB 74
UCD 60
 
Final
CPSL 56
UCI 63
 
Final
UTAH 83
ARST 41
Final
STAN 75
ORST 48
Final
GONZ 59
SDU 39
Final
USF 53
GAELS 84
 
Final
HAW 78
LBSU 59
 
6:00pm Tonight
QUIN
SIENA
 
6:30pm Tonight
CORN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
FAIR
 
7:00pm Tonight
IONA
MAN
 
7:00pm Tonight
BRO
PENN
 
7:00pm Tonight
YALE
PRIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAR
PETE
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
DART
 
8:00pm Tonight
AKR
OHIO
 
10:00pm Tonight
CLST
VALPO
 
Final
NYR 4
ARI 3
Final
CLB 2
MON 5
Final
BUF 6
VAN 3
Final
TOR 3
PHI 2
Final
WIN 1
STL 2
Final
NAS 2
MIN 4
Final
SJS 2
DET 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
BOS
 
7:00pm Tonight
NYI
CAL
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
WAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
CHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
DAL
COL
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
LOS