The Washington Capitals are near the top of the standings in the Eastern Conference, but could help themselves substantially with wins over two of the conference's middling teams this weekend. The Caps face the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night, and the New York Islanders on Saturday, on a two-game, two-night road trip on the Eastern Seaboard.
Washington is 8-2-0 and has 16 points, good for first in the Southeast Division and a tie for third in the Eastern Conference. But the 'Canes are 5-4-3 for 13 points and third in the Southeast, and the Islanders lag well behind the pack in the East, with just eight points from a 3-5-2 record.
Both games are at 7:00 p.m. Eastern.
Washington could stand to pick up four points if its explosive offense (3.9 goals per game, best in the NHL) can overwhelm Carolina and New York. But the Caps also face concerns about their chemistry, given Alex Ovechkin's outburst at coach Bruce Boudreau during Washington's comeback win over Anaheim on Tuesday.
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