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WASHINGTON — The streaking Washington Capitals go for their sixth straight victory when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday night at Capital One Arena.
The Capitals (46-24-7) hold a five-point lead over the Pittsburgh Penguins A.J. Bouye Jersey , who they visit Sunday.
Washington extended its streak in style Wednesday night with 3-2 overtime win against the visiting New York Rangers. Lars Eller tied the game with 1:05 remaining and Evgeny Kuznetsov beat Henrik Lundqvist 38 seconds into overtime as Washington won for the ninth time in 10 games.
It marked the third time this season the Capitals tied a game with less than two minutes remaining in regulation.
“We’re confident in any situation of a game,” goaltender Braden Holtby told NHL.com. “We play better when it’s close; one goal either way or whatever. I think with our skill, it forces us to turn things on late in the game and guys take that as a challenge.”
Kuznetsov, who assisted on Eller’s goal, notched his sixth straight game with two or more points (five goals, 13 assists). His 25th goal increased his season high, and his 77th point tied his single-season best set in the 2015-16 season.
Holtby, making only his third start in the past 11 games, was solid, stopping 35 shots to gain his third straight win.
“I felt comfortable Bennie Fowler III Jersey ,” he told the team’s website. “Obviously it’s something I’m not used to, not playing much. Stamina and such was a little different than I’m used to, but it felt good to go out there and just get to work, and to play in a high intensity game.”
Philipp Grubauer, who started four of the past five games, was scratched because of a lower-body injury, but returned to practice Thursday.
“I have two goalies,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz said told NHL.com. “If that’s an indication of where (Holtby’s) game is going, I know where Grubauer’s is at, then we’re in good shape with two goaltenders that have played valuable minutes for us. … We’ve still got some games left and we’ll see where we are.”
The Hurricanes (34-32-11) saw their three-game winning streak end Tuesday night in a 4-3 loss at New Jersey. Stefan Noesen scored with 1:33 left in the third period to give the Devils the victory.
Noah Hanifin Ryan Kalil Jersey , Phillip Di Giuseppe and Warren Foegele scored for the Hurricanes, and Scott Darling made 41 saves.
Carolina went 0-for-3 on the power play while New Jersey was 2-for-4.
“It’s tough when you play games that are fast, that hard fought, and it comes down to just a few plays,” Hanifin told NHL.com. “Unfortunately, our power-play time was not good enough. We had a few chances and we didn’t do anything with them. We gave up power-play goals and they beat us in that department. We have to be better.”
The Hurricanes, still alive despite being 10 points behind New Jersey for the second Eastern Conference wild card spot with five games remaining, lost leads of 2-1 and 3-2.
“I thought it was back and forth all night,” Di Giuseppe told NHL.com. “No matter what, you want to win. We’re just trying to win for each other and obviously it was disappointing tonight Charles Leno Jersey , but there are a few more games.”
Foegele, 21, who scored goals in his first two NHL games this week, was reassigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the AHL on Wednesday.
Hurricanes defenseman Justin Falk missed the last three games with an upper-body injury.
Jon Gruden targeted Paul Guenther as his defensive coordinator in his return to Oakland even before he got the Raiders job, believing his aggressive defensive scheme was just what the team needed to reverse years of bad play.
Guenther’s task has been even harder than originally thought because he is still waiting to get Oakland’s best defensive player in camp.
Star edge rusher Khalil Mack skipped the entire offseason program and now extended his holdout into training camp as he seeks a long-term contract commensurate with the skills of one of the NFL’s top defensive players.
”I really can’t worry about that right now,” Guenther said Sunday after Oakland’s first padded practice. ”I’m just trying to coach the guys who are out here. Obviously when he gets here, if he gets here, he’ll be an exciting piece to add.”
There is no indication of when that time will come as Mack’s camp and Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie have been quiet about negotiations. Mack is entering the final season of his rookie contract that is set to pay him $13.8 million and Oakland would have the option of using the franchise tag next offseason if no long-term deal is reached.
Mack is one of several prominent holdouts this summer, joining players like Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald, Seattle safety Earl Thomas. Pittsburgh running back Le’Veon Bell is also staying away from training camp but is not a holdout since he has not signed his franchise tender.
”He’s working Carl Nassib Jersey ,” fellow edge rusher Bruce Irvin said. ”I talk to him every day. He misses it. You just know how it is. He’s working his butt off and when he gets in here he’ll be ready.”
Mack has been one of the top defensive players in football since being drafted in the first round in 2014. He was a first-team All-Pro at both defensive end and linebacker in 2015 and won AP Defensive Player of the Year in 2016. He has 40 1/2 sacks in four seasons and leads the NFL in QB pressures with 185 1/2 since entering the league, according to SportRadar.
Free-agent acquisition Tank Carradine has taken over Mack’s role at defensive end on the base defense but is not an accomplished pass rusher. The Raiders hoped to upgrade that rush by drafting defensive end Arden Key and tackles Maurice Hurst and P.J. Hall.
Key and Hurst have shown good bursts early in training camp as the Raiders prepare without Mack.
”We can’t worry about who isn’t here because when Khalil gets tired, when he goes out of the game, the guys who are here have to go into the game and play while he is tired,” Irvin said. ”He rarely gets tired, but when he does those guys have to be ready. We’re focused on getting these young guys ready and that stuff will take care of itself.”
Irvin is also taking on a bigger role in the pass rush after spending his first two seasons in Oakland as an outside linebacker who also rushed the passer.
Irvin dropped into coverage on almost one-third of pass plays last season, according to SportRadar. But Guenther plans to use him almost exclusively as a defensive end in his defense.
”I just think his best gift is going forward,” Guenther said. ”That’s what he should be doing each and every down. Instead of playing linebacker and dropping into coverage, we have to utilize his and everybody else’s talents the best we can.”
NOTES: CB Gareon Conley has missed the past two days with a hip strain sustained on the first day of practice. … RB Jalen Richard left practice with an undisclosed injury.
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