With a dominant 4-1 win over Carolina Tuesday, the Capitals took the first game of their home-and-home to close out their season series against the Hurricanes and moved into excellent position with the season winding down. They hold a three-point lead in the Metropolitan Division and is one win away from hitting the 100-point mark yet again.
Like last game, the Capitals have a chance to clinch a playoff berth, but in much simpler fashion: If they beat Carolina in any fashion Thursday, or fall in overtime or the shootout, they're locked in for another playoff run and the chance to repeat. Still, the Hurricanes are hosting this time around and have domianted on home ice, so preventing a storm surge may be a bit more difficult than it was on Tuesday.
Here's what to know before the two teams face-off at 7 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.
CAPITALS VS HURRICANES HOW TO WATCH
What: Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes, Game 78 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season
Where: PNC Arena, Raleigh, N.C.
When: Thursday, March 28, 7 p.m. ET
TV Channel: Capitals at Hurricanes will be broadcast live on NBC Sports Washington (Channel Link)
Radio: Caps Radio 24/7, 106.7 The Fan
CAPITALS VS HURRICANES TV SCHEDULE
6:00 PM: Caps Faceoff Live
6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:00 PM: Capitals at Hurricanes
9:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:00 PM: Caps Overtime Live
CAPITALS VS HURRICANES INJURY REPORT:
Capitals: Michal Kempny (lower-body, long-term)
Hurricanes: Janne Koukkanen (undisclosed, out)
CAPITALS VS HURRICANES PLAYERS TO WATCH:
Alex Ovechkin, F, Capitals (49 G, 36 A, 84 P)
Ovechkin scored his 49th of the season Tuesday against Carolina, tying last year's total and finding twine for the first time in four games. He's one goal away from hitting 50 for the eighth time in his career, which would put him second all-time behind Wayne Gretzky and Mike Bossy (9) in 50-goal seasons. With points in seven of his last eight, look for Ovechkin to make an impact yet again and stay hungry.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, F, Capitals (20 G, 48 A, 68 P)
Kuznetsov was outstanding on his bobblehead night Tuesday, tallying three assists against Carolina. As the playoffs approach, the 26-year-old, who was the Caps' leading scorer through the 2018 postseason, has points in three of his last five and is poised for an offensive outburst moving forward.
Jordan Staal, F, Hurricanes (9 G, 14 A, 23 P)
Although injuries haven't been kind to Staal this season, he's heating up at the right time for Carolina and has points in three of his last four games, including two multi-point performances. Every game matters for Carolina moving forward, so look for the 30-year-old to be leading in as many ways as possible, especially on the scoresheet.
CAPITALS VS HURRICANES SERIES HISTORY
Number of all-time meetings: 173
All-time series record: Capitals lead 97-62-14
Last Meeting: Capitals win 4-1 (3/26/2019)
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