Tuesday evening the Carolina Hurricanes travel to Verizon Center to renew their rivalry with the Washington Capitals.
Expect the two Southeast division rivals to amp up the intensity significantly.
This will not be a usual regular season meeting between the two teams. Alexander Semin will return to Washington and face his former team for the first time.
With Semin returning to Washington, the Verizon Center should be dripping with drama on Tuesday night.
Last season, the two teams split its six meetings with the Caps winning the first three but the Canes winning the next three—including two shutouts in which Carolina outscored Washington 8-0.
Nevertheless, a season ago the Caps finished as the No. 7 seed in the Eastern Conference with 92 points while the Canes missed the playoffs finishing 10 points behind the Caps with 82.
This season has seen a role reversal of sorts. The Hurricanes currently lead the Southeast division, along with the Tampa Bay Lightning, with 19 points; the Caps sit dead last in the Southeast division with 13 points.
If the Caps hope to make a move and climb back into contention for the division crown, then the game Tuesday night almost becomes a must win for Washington.
It is an intriguing matchup between two teams built quite similarly.
How are the teams different from last season and how might those differences effect how things play out Tuesday night?
Let's look at some key differences from a season ago and find out.