Final OT

Series (Game 5 of 6)

Series tied 3-3

Game 1: Monday, November 30th
Capitals3Final
Hurricanes2
Game 2: Friday, December 11th
Hurricanes3Final
OT
Capitals4
Game 3: Monday, December 28th
Hurricanes6Final
Capitals3
Game 4: Wednesday, March 10th
Hurricanes3Final
OT
Capitals4
Game 5: Thursday, March 18th
Capitals3Final
OT
Hurricanes4
Game 6: Thursday, March 25th
Capitals2Final
SO
Hurricanes3

Capitals 3

(47-14-10, 104 pts)

Hurricanes 4

(29-33-8, 66 pts)

7:00 PM ET, March 18, 2010

PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina

1 2 3 OT T
WSH 0 2 1 03
CAR 0 1 2 14

R. Whitney (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

J. Jokinen (Hurricanes - LW): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

J. Corvo (Capitals - D): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Capitals-Hurricanes Preview

STATS LLC

After the NHL handed Alex Ovechkin a two-game suspension for his hard hit in a game over the weekend, the Washington Capitals came out and sent another message of their own without their star player.

Ovechkin will finish his suspension as the Capitals look to win their third straight Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes.

The NHL points leader was suspended for a hit on Chicago's Brian Campbell in the first period of Sunday's 4-3 overtime victory. Ovechkin received a game misconduct and Campbell suffered a broken collarbone that will likely sideline him the remainder of the regular season.

The ruling was met with disappointment by Ovechkin and the rest of the Capitals, but Washington still cruised to a 7-3 road win over Florida on Tuesday -- the team's highest-scoring game since a 7-2 win over the Islanders on Jan. 26. Brooks Laich had two goals and an assist, and five other players scored.

It wasn't the first time Washington has responded with a big offensive game after losing Ovechkin to a suspension. The Capitals defeated Florida 6-2 on Dec. 3 and Philadelphia 8-2 on Dec. 5 after Ovechkin received a two-game punishment for a knee-to-knee hit on Carolina's Tim Gleason on Nov. 30.

"It was almost like 'We're showing you he didn't deserve to be suspended, but we'll carry on anyway,'" coach Bruce Boudreau said Tuesday.

Washington (47-14-9) is 7-2-0 when Ovechkin is out of the lineup, and Laich has stepped up in those games with five goals and six assists.

"It's nice that everyone contributes when (Ovechkin's) not in there," said left wing Jason Chimera, who had a goal Tuesday. "That's important down the stretch in case someone big like that goes out. It's nice to know we can score goals without him."

The Capitals will now face the second-worst team in the Eastern Conference in Carolina (28-33-8). Washington is 3-1-0 against the Hurricanes this season, with Ovechkin registering seven assists.

Capitals defenseman Mike Green, who has two goals and five assists in the last five games, has four goals in the season series.

The Hurricanes have lost their last two after a 9-1-1 stretch, falling 5-4 to Boston on Tuesday. After being shut out in their previous game, they came out slow again and trailed 1-0 after the Bruins scored 23 seconds in. Boston made it 3-1 in the opening minute of the third period.

Erik Cole scored his second goal of the night 1:45 into the third, but Carolina couldn't complete the comeback. Manny Legace made 32 saves, giving up the fourth and fifth goals in a 2:39 span midway through the period.

"It was addressed that this was going to be like a playoff game and it needed to be," Cole said. "It seemed like we got some momentum ... but to give up two more (goals) near each other was pretty deflating."

Legace started after Justin Peters was in net the previous two games. The two have allowed 16 goals in their last four appearances while sharing duties because starter Cam Ward is sidelined indefinitely with a back injury.

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