While Justin Peters has recorded shutouts in each of his last two appearances against the Capitals, the latest a 26-save outing in Tuesday’s 4-0 win at Verizon Center, Carolina is switching things up Thursday night in Raleigh.
The Hurricanes will start Dan Ellis (4-2-0, 2.60 GAA, .921 save percentage) in the second half of this home-and-home against Washington. It’s business as usual for Carolina, which has had a regular rotation between Ellis and Peters since Cam Ward suffered a sprained MCL on March 3.
“We’re still at a position with these two goalies that we need both of them. They ran this way in Charlotte this year, and it worked well,” Carolina Coach Kirk Muller said. “They’re comfortable with it. It’s a good push for each other. It keeps them fresh. Right now, our mentality is if they’re both playing like that, we’ll go back-and-forth.”
Regardless of the goaltender in the Carolina sweater, though, the Capitals want to find a way to test them more, establish a cycle early and make sure they’re creating quality offensive zone time.
“I think we can do a better job, we were in their end a lot [Tuesday] but we would cycle it to the other side and they would get it back,” Jason Chimera said. “We need to put pressure on keeping it in more, D pinching a little more maybe. Just doing little things to keep the puck in longer, have longer zone time. When you have longer zone times bad things seem to happen to other teams.”
Michal Neuvirth (1-4-1, 2.98 GAA, .890 save percentage) gets the nod for the the Capitals and he’ll be making his first start since Feb. 7 at Pittsburgh. In six appearances against the Hurricanes in his career, Neuvirth is 3-1-1 with a .913 save percentage and 2.66 GAA.
Faceoff: 7 p.m. Verizon Center | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7
Discuss the game in the comment section below and based on warmups here’s what the lineup should look like:
Goal: Neuvirth, Holtby.
Scratches: John Erskine (hand/wrist), Mathieu Perreault, Wojtek Wolski and Cameron Schilling.
IR: Mike Green (groin), Jack Hillen (upper body) and Brooks Laich (groin, non-roster).