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Tonight on NBCSN: Stumbling Capitals hope to get it right against last place Hurricanes

Feb 20, 2012, 8:05 AM EDT

Tomas Vokoun, Jeff Skinner AP

The Washington Capitals have had things go in unfortunate directions for them this season. When the Caps face off against the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh tonight (7:30 p.m. ET on NBCSN) they’ll be looking to get back on the winning side of things in a more regular fashion.

If the Caps can get things turned around, the Southeast Division is there for the taking. The Caps are two points behind first place Florida and with two more wins to their credit they have the tie-breaker on the Panthers. The problem Washington is facing, however, is consistency. Continuing to be without Nicklas Backstrom is a problem for their offense, but with Mike Green back in the lineup and feeling good about things, the hope is that the wins will start coming.

While Alex Ovechkin and Alexander Semin aren’t pumping in goals the way they used to, and some are curious if Ovechkin is too caught up being a “rock star” of late, they’re still the best on the team and virtually all the Caps have going for them offensively this season. Inconsistent or not, that kind of talent can’t be held back all the time. Staying focused against the last place Hurricanes might be a problem.

Carolina’s rough season rolls on with them firmly in the place as the team to play the spoiler. Eric Staal has had his own issues staying consistent this season and Jeff Skinner has had a bit of a sophomore slump when not scrapping with teammates in practice. Meanwhile Cam Ward is looking exhausted trying to keep up with all the rubber he faces night in and night out.

The ‘Canes taking two points tonight could wind up being a crucial blow to the Caps’ playoff chances, however, as they need every point they can muster to get in the postseason.

  1. shaqattaqer - Feb 20, 2012 at 9:00 AM

    NBCSN needs a hockey flex scheduling like NBC has for Sunday Night Football so that the US audiences aren’t subjected to Southeast Division teams so often. Particularly the Capitals, who used to be fun to watch, but are no longer.

    • bcjim - Feb 20, 2012 at 12:37 PM

      All hockey is becoming unwatchable (again). The NHL is allowing play to return to mid 90s Devils hockey.

      I read penalties are nearly cut in half from 2008/9. Defensemen, imo, are now allowed to molest whoever they please with little worry of holding or interference being called.

      And the things they *do* seem to call these days is GI , kick in, and “incidental contact”.

      Anything to void a goal, they seem to call it.

      Whats up NHL???????

  2. sportsfreak13 - Feb 20, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    I diagree, but that’s probably because its fun for me to watch them lose.

  3. pavelfitzgerald - Feb 20, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    No mention of the Jets being ahead of Washington & in a tie for 8th place?

    • sippindasyzurp - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:55 AM

      This is Washington Capitals talk… Not Pro Hockey Talk…

      • Ryne McClaren - Feb 20, 2012 at 11:08 AM

        How about the fact that Ward has been out, and Justin Peters is starting for the second straight game tonight? Mike Murphy was called up from AHL Charlotte this morning, and skated with the Canes in practice.

        So I guess Cam Ward won’t be looking so exhausted tonight.

  4. modellforprez - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:16 AM

    gee willikers ovenchicken holy bad hockey.

  5. dcfan4life - Feb 20, 2012 at 10:22 AM

    Man the Caps need a win. A Spark. A trigger. Otherwise we all may start to agree that our window for a championship has closed…

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