Hockey Stuff: Southeast Race Tightens

PLAYOFF WATCH | Canes’ lead down to two points 

The Washington Capitals keep winning, which continues to put pressure on the Carolina Hurricanes to match win-for-win as the NHL’s regular season draws to a close.

Here’s how things shape up today:

The Hurricanes have a two-point lead on Washington with one game in hand and five games remaining. If Washington wins its remaining four games, Carolina would have to get six points (through three wins, or two wins and two OT losses) to win the division. The Hurricanes can still make the playoffs if the Capitals squeak by them to win the division, but it will take multiple losses for Boston and Philadelpia, which hold the 7th and 8th spots in the Eastern Conference.

Carolina still controls its destiny, and the best route is to win, particularly in Tuesday’s game at Washington.

Here’s how the teams’ schedules look:

Carolina plays back-to-back games tonight and Saturday, with the latter contest on the road. After Tuesday’s big game at Washington, the Canes final two games are at home.

Hurricanes remaining games (5):
– tonight at home vs. Atlanta…the Canes are hot at home and have dominated the Thrashers this year
– Saturday at Tampa Bay…a tough second-half of back-to-back set of games, plus it’s on the road 
– Tuesday at Washington…big game…BIG game…
– Wednesday at home vs. Tampa Bay
– Friday, April 4, at home vs. Florida

Washington finishes up a six-game road trip Saturday at Florida, then plays its final three regular-season games at home.

Remaining games (4):
– Saturday at Florida…Florida has been struggling, but would like to play the role of spoiler
– Tuesday at home vs. Carolina…could make or break the Caps’ season
– Thursday at home vs. Tampa Bay
– Saturday, April 5, at home vs. Florida

Since Rod Brind’Amour’s injury on February 14, the Hurricanes are 13-3-2. They’ve earned points in 13 of their last 14 home games (11-1-2), despite having a total of 120 man-games lost due to injury since Brind’Amour left the lineup.

Carolina has won its last four games against Atlanta, and Atlanta lost five straight until last night’s win over Florida.


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