Hurricanes vs. Capitals Free NHL Selection – February 26th

A tough shootout loss last night dropped our record to 17-9 thus far in 2013. We haven’t lost more than two games in a row all year long, and we’ll hope that trend continues on a busy Tuesday evening in the NHL. Tonight’s featured selection involves an emerging Capitals team hosting the very depleted Carolina Hurricanes.

Carolina Hurricanes (+110) @ Washington Capitals (-130)

Though it hasn’t been the start Washington was hoping for, the Caps seem like they’re done under-performing and seem content on climbing back into the playoff picture. Washington enters this game as winners of four of their past six contests, and star player Alex Ovechkin seems to finally be breaking out of his slump as the Russian recorded a hat-trick in his last game.

Goaltending has been an issue for the Caps throughout much of the season, but Braden Holtby has solidified it in recent games. Washington has far too much talent and ability to continually be mired in mediocrity, and expect Holtby to lead the Caps back into the thick of things. In last season’s playoffs, Holtby was a revelation for Washington, and if he can get back to that form, the Caps could be on the verge of quite the streak.

While the Caps should win this game, much of the reason for picking them lies within the deficiencies of the Carolina Hurricanes. The ‘Canes have lost a bunch of key players to injuries in recent weeks, and with poor organizational depth, they could be in trouble in the Nation’s Capital. Carolina has lost 3 of their past 4 games, and with all these injuries, expect that slide to worsen in D.C. Carolina is without top defenders Jamie McBain, Tim Gleason, and Joni Pitkanen. They remain without star forward Jeff Skinner, and the AHLers being called up have yet to make a difference. While a lot of teams are enduring injuries, the ‘Canes will struggle in the absence of such vital players.

Expect Washington to roll out their mostly healthy line-up and turn in a motivated performance against a divisional rival in Carolina. The Caps had some harsh comments about former-teammate Alex Semin yesterday, and should be amped up to see him again in opposing colours. For the Caps, look for them to get key d-man Mike Green back into the line-up. His offense from the back-end should spur the Caps on to an important victory Tuesday night.

PICK = Washington (-130)