The Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Monday night at PNC Arena in Raleigh. The win was their sixth straight, 4th straight on the road, heading into the holiday break with 52 points. The Capitals next game is Saturday, December 26th against the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center.
The starting lines for the Capitals:
Stanislav Galiev and Connor Carrick were the healthy scratches for tonight’s game. Brooks Orpik missed his 19th straight game since sustaining a lower body injury on November 10th in Detroit.
The Capitals would strike first, the 12th time in their last 15 games. The Caps were playing their third game in four nights, which really started to show in the final period. Caps were outshot 32-21 for the game. Caps had 27 blocked shots (15 in the 3rd period) led by Matt Niskanen with 8. Philipp Grubauer had 31 saves, including 12 in 1st & 12 in 3rd period. The NHL’s game summary can be found here: Individual player stats for the game can be found here: Face-off comparison chart can be found here:
A bit of a sloppy start at the beginning of this one for both sides. The Caps were whistled for the game’s first penalty when Karl Alzner was called for interference at 3:39 of the first period. The Cane’s, with a hot power play of late, spent a great deal of time in the offensive zone but were unable to convert on the man advantage. The Caps showed good energy in the early going, considering it was their third game in four days, however Carolina had the edge in offensive zone time for the opening frame. Michael Latta would get the Caps on the scoreboard first on a knock-in of a rebound at 15:52, with an assist from Andre Burakovsky.
The period would end with the Caps leading 1-0. The Canes’ led in shots on goal, 12-7.
The first ten minutes of the second period continued with the Canes having the edge in offensive zone time, with several quality chances in the early stages of the middle frame. The Caps would get the first power play on a holding call on the Canes’ Eric Stahl at 5:50 of the second period. The Caps applied significant pressure, but were unable to find the twine. SOG were 15-13 at the midway point of the middle frame. Jason Chimera would deflect a shot by John Carlson into the net to stretch the Caps lead to 2-0 at 12:49 of the second period.
Jay Beagle would be whistled for tripping with 2:43 left in the second period. The Caps would hold strong and Carolina would be called for interference with 0.52 left in the second period. The Caps could not covert, but would begin the final frame with 69 seconds of power play time. The second period would end with the Caps leading 2-0. The Canes led in SOG 18-15.
The Caps began to fall back on their heels in the middle part of the period, managing only three SOG through the first 11 minutes of the final frame. As the period proceeded it was pretty clear the Caps were hanging on for dear life. Playing their third game in four days, tired legs were starting to show. The Caps were called for too many men on the ice late in the game, but were able to gather just enough strength to eek out the win 2-1.