NHL Hockey: Washington at Carolina - Carolina Favored
82% of Bets Placed on Carolina -197 | Matchup | Goalies
Fresh off his first All-Star game appearance, Alex Ovechkin is ready to help the Washington Capitals get the second half of their season off to a strong start.
Ovechkin and the Capitals hope for another solid performance against the Carolina Hurricanes when the teams square off in Raleigh, N.C. on Friday.
Ovechkin had a goal for the Eastern Conference on Wednesday in its 12-9 loss to the West. Last season's rookie of the year was on the same line with another second-year phenom, Sidney Crosby, for most of the game.
Crosby, the top vote-getter for the game, did not record a point.
"I tried to help him. Next All-Star game, it will happen," Ovechkin said. "There were a couple of times I normally would have shot. But I wanted to play for the fans. I tried to help him, but it didn't work."
Carolina's Justin Williams had a goal and an assist, and teammate Eric Staal added a goal for the East.
Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 29 goals and 36 assists, and has four goals and 11 assists during a nine-game point streak. He had an assist in Saturday's 4-1 loss to Florida.
The Capitals have dropped four of five games after a three-game winning streak. Goalie Olaf Kolzig, who made 36 saves Saturday, said his team's effort has been lacking.
"We like to hang our hat on being the hardest-working team in the league," he said. "But the last two games that we've played, or two out of our last three games, we've been outworked by the other team. I think guys and coaches accept losing a little bit better - and I don't think you ever accept losing - but you tolerate it more when you lay it all on the line."
Two days earlier, the Capitals won 5-2 in Carolina. Chris Clark and Alexander Semin each had a pair of goals in the victory.
"Maybe we are thinking we're better than we really are," Kolzig said. "Maybe we think we're a finesse team now as opposed to a lunch-pail team. I hope that's not the case because if it is then we've got a long 30-plus games here to go.
"But we've got too many good guys in this room to allow that to happen. That's why I think when we get back to work on Thursday it will be addressed, and you'll see the same team that you saw the other night in Carolina."
The Hurricanes (25-19-6) dropped two straight and three of four heading into the break, including Saturday's 6-5 shootout loss to Tampa Bay. Staal scored twice for Carolina, which fell to 0-4 in shootouts.
"Obviously you want to get the win when you get to the shootout and we've got great shooters in here," Staal said. "It's just not going to the back of the net and it's frustrating for sure. You want to get those extra points. Those are big, and we didn't get it done."
Carolina lost for the first time in 17 games when leading after the first period.
Defenseman Niclas Wallin did not play after suffering a lower-body injury against Washington, and his status for this contest is uncertain.
by: Gary Roberts - theSpread.com - Email Us
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