Hurricanes aim to extend surge versus Capitals

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Carolina Hurricanes are continuing to make their poor start to the season a distant memory.

The suddenly-streaking 'Canes eye up a fifth straight victory on Saturday night as they visit the rival Washington Capitals.

Carolina got off to the worst start in franchise history with eight straight defeats to open the campaign. However, the Hurricanes have now countered that 0-6-2 start with a four-game winning streak, one that was extended with last night's 3-2 overtime victory against the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Elias Lindholm scored the winning goal with 38 seconds left in overtime. That came after Carolina had failed to score on its first six chances on the man advantage in the game.

Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner scored for the Hurricanes, while Cam Ward stopped 29 shots in the win.

"We knew they were going to come back hungry, and they were," said Carolina forward Eric Staal. "They played hard. It was physical and tight at times, but I liked the resiliency we showed. We stayed with it and continued to battle."

Carolina now has a chance to win five straight for the first time since Dec. 31-Jan. 9 of last season and will give Anton Khudobin the start tonight. He is 3-1-0 lifetime versus the Capitals with a 2.74 goals against average and .913 save percentage.

Washington will take aim at a second straight win as it halted a five-game slide with Friday night's 3-2 triumph over the Chicago Blackhawks. Braden Holtby made 38 saves and the Capitals scored three late goals in the second period.

Joel Ward, Andre Burakovsky and Marcus Johansson scored in the final five minutes of the second period for the Capitals, who had posted an 0-4-1 mark over their slide.

"It just goes to show how fast things can turn around in a game," said Ward, whose winning goal came with 4.4 seconds left in the frame. "It kind of got switched around for us because we've had a few games where we've had the lead and given it up."

It is unknown if Holtby will start again tonight or if the Capitals will turn to former Hurricanes second-round draft pick Justin Peters.

Holtby is 5-3-0 with a 2.23 GAA and .940 save percentage in his career versus the Hurricanes, who took drafted Peters in 2004.

Peters made 68 appearances with 58 starts over parts of five seasons with Carolina. He played in a career-high 21 games last season, going 7-9-4 with a 2.50 GAA and .919 save percentage.

The Hurricanes won three of their five meetings with the Capitals a season ago, with all three wins coming in Washington. They have won five of their past seven trips to D.C. overall.