The Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes 2-1 on Tuesday night at Verizon Center. The win raised the Capitals record to 50-15-4 (105 points) and clinched a playoff spot for the Caps. The loss dropped the Hurricanes record to 31-27-12, (74 points). The Capitals next host the Nashville Predators Friday night at Verizon Center. Puck-drop is 7:00 PM EST.
Mike Weber, Michael Latta and Stanislav Galiev were the healthy scratches for tonight’s game against the ‘Canes. Braden Holtby got the start in net for the Capitals and Eddie Lack got the call for the ‘Canes. Tonight’s goalie match-up, provided by @washcaps:
A better first period for the Caps, albeit scoreless. Jason Chimera had a good game, hitting a post and crossbar in the first, and setting up Justin Williams for the Caps first goal in the second period. The second and third periods were fairly even with 5-on-5 dominating. Alex Ovechkin would win it in 3-on-3 overtime. Braden Holtby won his 42nd game of the season, a new franchise record. The Capitals are the sixth team in NHL history to record 50 wins in 69 or fewer games and first since DET in 1995-96 (53 wins). Alex Ovechkin now has 17 career overtime goals- second most in NHL history (Jagr; 19). Team stats for the game can be found here: Player stats for the game can be found here: Faceoff stats for the game can be found here: Game photos can be found here:
The Capitals held the early edge in 5-on-5 play as the Caps led 4-0 in shots on goal in the first four minutes of play. The Caps stepped up the pressure with several nice scoring chances in the first ten minutes, however the ‘Canes would start to claw their way back in, catching up on shots on goal at the 15:00 mark. The first period ended scoreless. The Capital led in shots on goal 10-8 after the first period of play.
The ‘Canes would tie-in up, following a bungled clear by Dmitry Orlov, on a Jordan Stall goal at 10:50.
The second period would end tied 1-1. The Capitals led in shots on goal 21-15.
The start of the third period saw a majority of play in the ‘Canes offensive zone. Tom Wilson was called for hooking at 3:02, but the Capitals were able to successfully kill the penalty. This was Wilson’s 50th penalty of the season, which leads the league. Scoring chances were fairly even with less than ten minute to go in regulation. The Capitals led in shots on goal 27-21 with four minutes remaining in regulation. The game would end in a 1-1 tied at the end of regulation.
Alex Ovechkin scored mid-way through the overtime period for the 2-1 win, and the Capitals clinched a playoff berth. Dmitry Orlov and Evgeny Kuznetsov were on the ice with Ovechkin, giving the Russian troika the winning goal, on Russian Heritage night at Verizon. Ovechkin would later state “Kuzy make nice sauce” in his post-game interview.