Capitals open playoff series against the Hurricanes
Carolina Hurricanes (46-29-7, fourth in the Metropolitan Division during the regular season) vs. Washington Capitals (48-26-8, first in the Metropolitan Division during the regular season)
Washington; Thursday, 7:30 p.m. EDT
EASTERN CONFERENCE FIRST ROUND: Washington hosts series opener
BOTTOM LINE: The Washington Capitals host the Carolina Hurricanes to open the Eastern Conference first round.
The Capitals are 19-7-2 against the rest of their division. Washington has scored 274 goals and is third in the Eastern Conference averaging 3.3 goals per game. Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 51.
The Hurricanes are 27-21-4 against conference opponents. Carolina leads the Eastern Conference shooting 34.4 shots per game while averaging 3.0 goals. The teams meet Thursday for the fifth time this season. Washington went 4-0 against Carolina during the regular season.
TOP PERFORMERS: Michal Kempny leads the Capitals with a plus-24 in 71 games played this season. T.J. Oshie has totaled four goals and five assists over the last 10 games for Washington.
Sebastian Aho has collected 83 total points while scoring 30 goals and totaling 53 assists for the Hurricanes. Teuvo Teravainen has recorded 10 points over the last 10 games for Carolina.
LAST 10 GAMES: Hurricanes: 6-4-0, averaging three goals, five assists, 3.2 penalties and 6.6 penalty minutes while giving up 2.3 goals per game with a .919 save percentage.
Capitals: 6-3-1, averaging three goals, 5.2 assists, 2.4 penalties and 5.7 penalty minutes while giving up 2.2 goals per game with a .923 save percentage.
Capitals Injuries: Michal Kempny: out indefinitely (lower body).
Hurricanes Injuries: Calvin de Haan: day to day (upper body).