This season’s NHL Stadium Series game is scheduled for Saturday night when the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes meet at the football home of the North Carolina State Wolfpack in Raleigh.
A capacity crowd of more than 57,000 is expected to see this battle between Eastern Conference rivals. The weather forecast as of Friday morning calls for a temperature of 42 degrees with next to no chance of precipitation.
Overall, this marks the 37th outdoor game in league history dating to 2003. Washington is 3-0 in such outings. This will be Carolina’s first such adventure.
NHL Stadium Series Odds: Capitals vs. Hurricanes Moneyline
Here are the Capitals vs. Hurricanes odds from the top US sports betting apps. It’s always recommended to shop around various sportsbooks to find the best prices for your bets and to take advantage of multiple sportsbook bonuses.
NHL · Sat (2/18) @ 8:00pm ET
|PNC Arena, Raleigh, North Carolina|
Where the Capitals and Hurricanes Stand Heading Into the Stadium Series
In the days before this showdown, the hockey world learned that the father of Capitals captain and standout left winger Alex Ovechkin died in Russia on Wednesday and that “Ovi” left for Moscow to mourn with his family. Mikhail was 71.
Capitals head coach Peter Laviolette said that Ovechkin, the second-leading goal scorer in league history, is unlikely to be back with the team “in the foreseeable future.”
As for Saturday’s game, this will be a meeting of one team on a roll and the other pretty much getting rolled.
Carolina has gone 11-1-1 since ending a four-game losing streak on Jan. 12 that coincided with the return of No. 1 goalie Frederik Andersen from an upper-body injury. No team has been hotter since that date.
Conversely, Washington has had the worst record in the Eastern Conference in that span with a 5-8 mark, including Tuesday night’s 3-2 home defeat against Carolina. That was part of an all-losing three-game homestand for the Caps. According to the team’s radio voice, it’s the first time in 26 years they had a home stretch at least that long and didn’t get a point.
While Carolina is nestled in first place in the Metropolitan Division by five points and currently the No. 2 seed in the East, Washington has lost its grip on the final wild card. After the Capitals’ 6-3 loss to visiting Florida on Thursday night, they fell into a tie with the Panthers for that final spot, but do have a game at hand.
Andersen would appear to be the likely starter in net Saturday for Carolina after helping to foil Washington on Tuesday, making 34 saves. But if Antti Raanta gets the call, he’s not bad, either. He’s won in his past four outings, including 6-2 vs. Montreal on Thursday, and is 14-2-3 overall. Anderson’s mark is 12-4-0.
Washington’s No. 1 goalie is Darcy Kuemper, who is used to the big stage. Not while he was a teammate of Raanta in Arizona from 2017-21, but in working in net throughout the NHL Finals last year and helping Colorado win the Stanley Cup.
The Caps already had a depleted roster before the departure of Ovechkin, the team’s leading scorer with 32 goals. But late in Thursday’s game, the team’s second-leading scorer with 13 goals, Marcus Johansson, suffered a leg injury. He was reported to be undergoing an evaluation.
On top of that, the team was already missing top defenseman John Carlson (face) and left wing/enforcer Tom Wilson (lower body).
That’s all bad news for a Capitals team that isn’t the same on the power play these days. They did score twice with the man advantage on Thursday night while in comeback mode, but in the first two periods, they incredibly didn’t even get a shot on net on three power-play opportunities.
The Hurricanes, meanwhile, have had little trouble peppering goalies for they have the third-highest number of shots per game average in the league (34.8). Sebastian Aho with 24 goals and Martin Necas with 21 lead a flourishing attack.
With the opening line showing Carolina as a -195 moneyline favorite, the Caps appear to be doomed to their fourth-straight defeat and likely dropping off the wild-card pace.
They have had their special moments of late, though, including last Saturday’s 2-1 victory in Boston. That was only the Bruins’ second home defeat in regulation this season.
But their captain was in the lineup for that game.