An early surge powered by two goals from Nicklas Backstrom and a power-play tally from Alex Ovechkin led the Washington Capitals to a Game 1 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes. They'll look to do it again to take a 2-0 series lead Saturday.
1:30 p.m.: Caps Faceoff Live (NBC Sports Washington)
2 p.m.: Caps Pregame Live (NBC Sports Washington)
3 p.m.: Hurricanes at Capitals (LIVE on NBC)
5:30 p.m.: Caps Postgame Live (NBC Sports Washington)
6:30 p.m.: Caps Overtime Live (NBC Sports Washington)
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
Back-to-Backstrom: The Swedish center scored the Caps’ first two goals of their 2019 postseason campaign, and also came up big defensively with big shot blocks. Look for him to continue being an impact player Saturday, especially after finishing the regular season on a hot streak and carrying that over into the playoffs.
Power play finally clicking: Although the power play was ailing through the regular season, the Caps managed two power-play goals Thursday, including one from Alex Ovechkin, who also proved difficult to defend. Look for him to be the catalyst and for the power play to keep regaining its rhythm.
Opponents to watch: Andrei Svechnikov started the late rally for Carolina, and the 19-year-old has proved dangerous heading into the postseason. He will be a major threat in Game 2 as the Hurricanes look to even things up.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The teams scout each other to death so it comes out to just who wants it more because teams know each other’s tendencies and systems and plays and everything,” Lars Eller told NBC Sports Washington in regards to the playoffs. “It comes down to effort level, battle level, one-on-ones and who can make less mistakes a lot of times.”
Stats to know:
Ovechkin has scored in four of his last five playoff games, dating back to the 2018 Stanley Cup Final.
Braden Holtby had 27 saves on 29 shots in Game 1 for a .931 save percentage.
Lars Eller again sealed the deal with an empty-netter Thursday, scoring the final goal in two straight playoff games dating back to his Cup-clinching goal in Game 5 against the Golden Knights.