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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Thursday, April 10th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (36-30-13) at Carolina Hurricanes (34-34-11), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals will play for pride and a third straight victory on Thursday when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

Washington was officially eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday after the Detroit Red Wings and Columbus Blue Jackets clinched the Eastern Conference's final two postseason berths. The Capitals will miss the postseason tournament for the first time since 2007.

Carolina was knocked out of playoff consideration earlier and hasn't made the postseason since 2009.

The Capitals are coming off two straight wins, but the modest streak came on the heels of an 0-3-2 stretch that dealt a serious blow to the club's postseason chances.

Washington last played on Tuesday when Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season and added two assists to help the club down the St. Louis Blues, 4-1.

Ovechkin recorded his fifth season of 50 goals or more to become the fifth player in NHL history to post at least five 50-goal seasons in his first nine campaigns. The other players on that list are Mike Bossy, Wayne Gretzky, Guy Lafleur and Brett Hull.

Still, the individual achievement is likely little consolation for the Russian sniper, who has been criticized often during a trying season in which he is sporting a minus-34 rating.

Nicklas Backstrom added two goals on Tuesday and Mikhail Grabovski also scored in the win. Braden Holtby had 28 saves in the win as the Caps swept the two- game season series with St. Louis.

Washington is 2-1-0 on a four-game road trip that ends tonight and the club is 16-17-7 as the guest this season. The Caps will cap their season this weekend with a two-game homestand against Chicago and Tampa Bay.

Carolina enters Thursday having lost two straight and four of its last six games.

The Hurricanes dropped a 4-1 decision Tuesday in New York City, as Brad Richards scored a pair of power-play goals to help lead the Rangers to the easy win at Madison Square Garden.

Patrick Dwyer accounted for the lone Carolina goal and Cam Ward finished with 32 saves in the loss, which officially eliminated the Hurricanes from postseason consideration.

"I thought three of the four goals that they scored were too easy," Ward said.

Anton Khudobin will get the start in net for Carolina. He is 3-0 with a 1.99 goals against average and .943 save percentage in three career games against the Caps.

Carolina has won three of four meetings against the Capitals in 2013-14 after Washington claimed the final three encounters of last season's series. The Caps have won three in a row and seven of their past nine tilts in Raleigh, N.C.

04/10 10:55:59 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 4
DUR 5
 
7:05pm Tonight
ROC
DUR
 
Final
KAN 1
NYY 14
Final
COL 5
CIN 4
Final
PHI 3
NYM 6
Final
HOU 3
BAL 4
Final
BOS 2
MIN 7
Final
SFG 8
MIL 4
Final
WAS 2
CHC 1
Final
DET 0
OAK 4
Final
TEX 10
CLE 8
Final
ARI 2
STL 3
Final
MIA 2
PIT 4
Final
CWS 0
TOR 6
Final
SEA 4
TAM 1
Final
ATL 3
LOS 6
Final
SDP 3
ANA 4
7:05pm Tonight
HOU
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
KAN
NYY
 
7:05pm Tonight
MIA
PIT
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
CHC
 
7:07pm Tonight
CWS
TOR
 
7:10pm Tonight
COL
CIN
 
7:10pm Tonight
PHI
NYM
 
7:10pm Tonight
SEA
TAM
 
7:10pm Tonight
TEX
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
BOS
MIN
 
8:10pm Tonight
SFG
MIL
 
8:15pm Tonight
ARI
STL
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
OAK
 
10:05pm Tonight
SDP
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
ATL
LOS
 
Final
GSW 115
HOU 128
8:30pm Tonight
ATL
CLE
 
Final
CHI 4
ANA 5
8:00pm Tonight
NYR
TAM
 
Final
ROC 4
DUR 5
 
7:05pm Tonight
ROC
DUR