The Washington Capitals start the week with their final match up against a division rival in the Carolina Hurricanes, can they figure out the right ingredients to find the win column again?
The Washington Capitals had a rough night against the New Jersey Devils Saturday at Capital One Arena as they fell 5-1.
There were a number of takeaways that will need attention before long if the Capitals want to maintain their hold over the Metropolitan Division.
One of the controllable aspects that the team can do right away is give Braden Holtby a much needed night off to regather himself mentally. This will also give Ilya Samsonov the opportunity to show what he has against a divisional rival in the Carolina Hurricanes.
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What will the Washington Capitals be walking into when they again look to defend their home ice? The Carolina Hurricanes enter Monday’s contest on a three game winning streak, while the Capitals will be looking to stop the bleeding and win their first in three games.
The Hurricanes still hold down the fourth spot in the division versus the Capitals at the top, but the gap is closing as the points between each is merely nine standings points. The Hurricanes will give the Capitals better competition on the special units approach, as the Hurricanes currently sit with the eighth best PP unit and the ninth best PK unit. Where the Devils occupy the bottom half in both categories.
In their last match, the Capitals came out on top by way of a 4-3 score. The Capitals special units were both challenged, with their PP unit showing their prowess by scoring two of the four goals. But the PK unit was less successful as they allowed two PP goals of the three allowed.
These occurred late in the game and made the game much closer than it needed to be. One positive the Capitals can take was the ability to score on 5 v 5 as well as the PP. But also they gave Samsonov the start in their last game against the Hurricanes and he showed he is capable of handling everything that came his way. He finished the game with a 0.927 SV% despite allowing three goals.
In this contest, look for Samsonov to again get the start and the Capitals to mop up some of those concern areas. For those interested in following the outcome this is where you can go:
Date: Jan. 13th
Time: 7:00 PM EST
Where: Capital One Arena
TV Broadcast: NBC Sports Washington
Radio: WJFK 106.7 The Fan, Caps Radio 24/7
Streaming: ESPN+ has a free 7-day trial that includes live streaming for this game on all your smart devices! Besides NHL games, ESPN+ features a selection of live games from MLB, MLS, Serie A, FA Cup, and EFL. Get in on the action with Live UFC Fight Nights, 30+ Top Rank Boxing cards, Grand Slam tennis from Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open.