Caps look to strengthen grip on first place

With the regular season winding down, the Washington Capitals are looking to hold onto their first-place standing over the Metropolitan Division. And they’ll face a true test Tuesday, when they take on the Carolina Hurricanes in a potential first-round playoff preview.

The Capitals haven’t had the strongest performances of late, struggling on the power play and losing Michal Kempny to injury. As they look to regain their momentum, each game moving forward is a must-win, especially with the Eastern Conference race getting closer and a playoff berth on the line.

What: Carolina Hurricanes vs. Washington Capitals, Game 68 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Tuesday, March 26, 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Hurricanes at Capitals game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington.

Live Stream: You can live stream Hurricanes at Capitals on NBC Sports Washington and on the MyTeams by NBC App.

Radio: Caps 24/7 Radio, 106.7 The Fan FM

Hurricanes at Capitals TV Schedule:

6:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live

6:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

7:00 PM: Hurricanes at Capitals (LIVE)

9:30 PM: Capitals Postgame Live

10:00 PM: Capitals Overtime Live

What to Watch For:

  1. Ovechkin approaching 50: The 33-year-old hasn’t scored since putting up two goals against Tampa Bay four games ago, but does have points in six of his last seven games. Can he end the drought and find the back of the net for his eighth 50-goal season?
  2. Nick Jensen rising: The newest Caps’ defenseman has points in two consecutive games and has been generating scoring chances left and right. Can he keep it up as the blue line continues to shuffle?
  3. Opponents to watch: Jordan Staal has been leading the charge of late, putting up points in three straight games. Look for him to keep it going.

Quote of the Day:

“We’re looking for the right combinations that work for us, that can set us up for future success,” head coach Todd Reirden told NBC Sports Washington Sunday. “Just some guys that aren’t 100 percent in terms of, let’s say sickness-wise that are low on energy, so you have to manage those minutes as well. So there’s a lot of things in play that cause for that type of mix and match stuff, both with up front and on our blue line.”

Stats to know:

  • Brett Connolly has points in four of his last five games and ranks third on the team in goals.
  • Carl Hagelin has five points in his last five games and and eight points in 14 games since joining Washington.
  • Travis Boyd ended a 25-game goalless drought with his goal against the Flyers Sunday.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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