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Ovechkin, Capitals face division rival Hurricanes

Carolina (7-3-2) at Washington (5-4-2), 7:00 p.m. EST

WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Alex Ovechkin could not deliver a win in

his return to the Washington Capitals' lineup after a two-game

absence.

He will try to lift his team against a Southeast Division foe on

Thursday, when the Capitals face the first-place Carolina

Hurricanes.

Ovechkin returned from a six-day trip back to Russia to be with

his ailing grandfather on Tuesday and managed four shots on goal

at Ottawa, but Washington settled for a single point as the

Senators grabbed a 2-1 victory in overtime.

Ovechkin, the reigning Art Ross, Maurice Richard and Hart Trophy

winner, was kept off the scoresheet.

The Hurricanes are coming off two straight wins over the Toronto

Maple Leafs and have their offense in high gear, totaling 11

goals in home-and-home series. Chad LaRose and Tuomo Ruutu

tallied in each of the games.

Ray Whitney has recorded five points in the last three contests.

The left wing leads Carolina with 11 points this season, two

more than Eric Staal.

The Hurricanes will be seeking a measure of revenge against the

Capitals, who went 9-1-0 over their final 10 games last season

to surge into first place in the Southeast, overtaking Carolina

by two points.

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