Preview: Hurricanes at Capitals
The Washington Capitals look to get back on their feet after sustaining consecutive losses and gain the upper hand in their Eastern Conference first-round series against the visiting Carolina Hurricanes in Game 5 on Saturday. The Capitals will be without T.J. Oshie, who is sidelined indefinitely after he was sent shoulder-first into the boards during Thursday's 2-1 setback in Raleigh, N.C.
Washington coach Todd Reirden told reporters on Friday that Oshie was visiting doctors and did not wish to elaborate on his status until more was known in the coming days. The former United States Olympic hero was the Capitals' second-leading goal scorer (25) during the regular season despite missing 12 games with concussion-like symptoms. Rookie Warren Foegele, who was whistled for a two-minute minor for boarding after shoving Oshie from behind, did not receive any additional discipline from the NHL on Friday. The 23-year-old Foegele opened the scoring 17 seconds into Thursday's contest and has four points (three goals, one assist) in the past two games.
TV: 8 p.m. ET, NBC, Sportsnet 360, Sportsnet 1, TVAS
ABOUT THE HURRICANES: Rookie Andrei Svechnikov is expected to miss his second consecutive contest on Saturday after he was injured in a fight with Washington captain Alex Ovechkin in Game 3. "We're going to go skate right now, and we will see how that goes, but I would doubt it," Hurricanes coach Rod Brind'Amour said of the 19-year-old, who skated with a full face shield on Friday. Brind'Amour noted that Jordan Martinook is "pretty banged up" after exiting Game 4 in the first period with a lower-body injury, and the team recalled fellow forward Aleksi Saarela from Charlotte of the American Hockey League on Friday.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS: Washington reached out to Hershey of the AHL on Friday to recall forward Devante Smith-Pelly, who matched his regular-season total by scoring seven goals in the playoffs in 2018 to help the Capitals capture their first Stanley Cup in franchise history. The 26-year-old collected 14 points (six goals, eight assists) in 20 games with the Bears, highlighted by recording a hat trick against Hartford on March 10. Ovechkin scored on the power play midway into the second period of Game 4, with that tally serving as the lone one in 13 chances since Washington scored twice on its first two opportunities of the series with the man advantage.
1. Carolina LW Sebastian Aho has one goal and two assists during his three-game point streak.
2. Washington C Nicklas Backstrom has been held off the scoresheet in consecutive contests after collecting three goals and an assist in the first two home games of the series.
3. Hurricanes G Petr Mrazek has turned aside 48 of 49 shots in the last two games.
PREDICTION: Hurricanes 3, Capitals 2