How to watch 2023 NHL Stadium Series: Hurricanes-Capitals

ByESPN staff ESPN logo
Saturday, February 18, 2023

The ABC Hockey Saturday slate continues this weekend with the 2023 NHL Stadium Series event, with the Carolina Hurricanes hosting the Washington Capitals at Carter-Finley Stadium, the home of NC State football.

It's the 37th regular-season outdoor game for the league, and you can catch all of the action from Raleigh, North Carolina, live on ABC and ESPN+, as well as a special alternative telecast on ESPN+, starting at 8 ET.

To help get you ready for the game, we've put together a guide on all the key players to watch for each team, including in-depth statistical insights from ESPN Stats & Information, and more.

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Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes

8 p.m. ET | Watch live on ESPN+


ESPN Power Rankings: 15

Leading scorer: Alex Ovechkin, 54 points in 54 games

2021-22 record: 28-23-6, fifth in Metro Division

  • The Caps will be without Alex Ovechkin for this game, as he is away from the team for personal reasons. The Caps are 23-22-4 in 49 regular-season games without Ovechkin in the lineup since his debut in 2005-06.
  • Ovechkin has been on the ice for 96.1% of the team's power-play time this season, by far the highest in the NHL (the next highest is Leon Draisaitlat 80.6%). He's taken 111 shot attempts on the power play this season, which is second behind David Pastrnak (114), and his 73 power-play shots on goal ranks tied for second with Mika Zibanejad, trailingonly Pastrnak (84).
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov is the team's leading point scorer since the start of the 2023 calendar year (two goals, nine assists).
  • Kuznetsov has been held to just eight goals this season, and his goals-per-game rate of 0.15 would be the second lowest of his career (0.14 in 2014-15). Kuznetsov has been a tad unlucky this season. Out of 141 forwards who have taken 100 shots on goal this season, Kuznetsov ranks 137th in shooting percentage at 6.4%, which would be a career low.
  • Darcy Kuemper has not received much from the offensive side in his games. Kuemper ranks 48th out of 54 qualifying goalies in goals in support average, at 2.62 per game.
  • His biggest strength has been stopping shots off the rush, posting the league's fifth-best save percentage in that situation among qualifying goalies (minimum 17 games played) at .942. He's been right around league average when facing shots through traffic, with a save percentage of .918.
  • Since the start of the 2017-18 season, Kuemper has a .920 save percentage, which is virtually tied with Andrei Vasilevskiy for fourth best among goalies with 100 games played (Igor Shesterkin: .925; Ben Bishop: .923; Ilya Sorokin: .923).


ESPN Power Rankings: 2

Leading scorer: Sebastian Aho, 48 points in 47 games

2021-22 record: 36-10-8, first in Metro Division

  • Under coach Rod Brind'Amour, the Hurricanes are heading in the direction of having their third straight season with a .700 points percentage. If the Hurricanes do complete a third straight season of .700 points percentage or better, they'll be the third team to accomplish that streak in NHL history. The Canadiens had a five-season streak from 1974-75 through 1978-79, and the Flyers had a four-season streak from 1973-74 to 1976-77.
  • Since Brind'Amour took over in 2018-19, the Hurricanes have the third-most wins (209) behind the Tampa Bay Lightning (227) and Boston Bruins (217), and the third-best points percentage (.666) behind the Lightning (.695) and Bruins (.688).
  • According to Stathletes data, the Hurricanes forward unit of Jordan Martinook-Jordan Staal-Jesper Fast has been together for 481 minutes of 5-on-5 play this season, the highest of any forward unit this season. That group also has done a great job limiting shot quality this season, allowing the sixth-lowest 5-on-5 expected goals against per 60 minutes of any forward unit that's played at least 200 minutes together.
  • At the same time, the defensive pairing of Brady Skjei and Brett Pesce have been together for 806 minutes at 5-on-5, the third most in the NHL behind the Kings duo of Drew Doughty-Mikey Anderson (910 minutes) and the Kraken duo of Adam Larsson-Vince Dunn (905 minutes).
  • The Hurricanes are the top team in deflections causing turnovers per game this season (34.8). Among players with at least 20 games played, the Hurricanes have the players who rank first (Jaccob Slavin: 3.87 per game), third (Brett Pesce: 3.26) and sixth (Brent Burns: 3.13) in deflections causing turnovers per game.
  • Sebastian Aho has been heating up in the 2023 calendar year with 12 goals in 17 games, tied for fourth most with Tim Stutzle and trailing Jack Hughes (15), David Pastrnak (14) and Adrian Kempe (13). Aho had 11 goals in his first 29 games of the season. He's on a pace to score 37 goals, which would equal his total from last season.
  • Aho is averaging 1.00 point per game this season, which would be his fourth career season with that average. If he finishes the season with that average, he'll tie Eric Staal for the second most such seasons in Hurricanes/Whalers history, and trail only Ron Francis (at nine seasons).
  • Martin Necas has already established single-season career highs in goals (21) and points (47), and is one assist shy of tying his career high set in 2020-21 (27). However, he has gone five straight games without a goal, tied for his second-longest streak of the season, and one shy of his longest drought.