Capitals Rally Past Hurricanes 3-2 With Two-Goal Third Period, Clinch Berth In Stanley Cup Playoffs

Gregg Forweck:Getty ImagesPhoto: Gregg Forweck/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals beat the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3-2 on Thursday night for their third straight victory and to finish the sweep the home-and-home series after defeating the Hurricanes by a score of 4-1 on home-ice on Tuesday. The win earned the Capitals a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the fifth consecutive season and​ extended their lead to five points over the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 24 saves in the victory.

Capitals Lines at Hurricanes

Forward T.J. Oshie missed the game due to an illness. Forward Andre Burakovsky took his spot on the second line. Forward Chandler Stephenson drew into the lineup on the fourth-line.

First Period

Forward Nino Niederreiter tucked in his own rebound that went off of the post into a wide-open net to give Carolina the 1-0 lead 4:31 into the game.

Forward Brett Connolly responded 42 seconds later, toe-dragging around Hurricanes defenseman Trevor Van Riemsdyk and picking the corner on goaltender Curtis McElhinney after getting a pass from defenseman Brooks Orpik in the defensive zone to tie it.

The Capitals led 7-5 in shots and 4-3 in blocked shots after one.

The Hurricanes led 10-6 in hits, 5-4 in takeaways, and had two giveaways while the Caps had three in the first. They won 56% of the faceoffs in the opening 20 minutes.

Second Period

Forward Warren Foegle made it 2-1 Carolina 11:30 into the period, toe-dragging around defenseman Nick Jensen and beating goaltender Braden Holtby with a wide open net to shoot at.

The Capitals led 8-7 in blocked shots and 11-8 in takeaways after two. They went 0-for-1 on the power-play in the first two periods.

The Hurricanes led 11-9 in second-period shots, 20-10 in hits, and won 68% of the faceoffs through 40 minutes of play.

Each team posted 16 shots and six giveaways through two.

Third Period

Forward Jakub Vrana opened up the five-hole of McElhinney on a breakaway after getting a stretch pass from center Evgeny Kuznetsov to tie the game 1:35 into the third.

Center Nic Dowd redirected Jensen’s shot from the point in front of McElhinney to give the Capitals a 3-2 lead with 4:56 left in regulation.

The Capitals led 13-10 in blocked shots and 13-12 in takeaways. They had nine giveaways while Carolina had 10.

The Hurricanes led 26-20 in shots, including 10-4 in the third period, 25-19 in hits, and won 61% of the faceoffs.

Each team went 0-for-1 on the power-play.

The Capitals continue their road-trip through the Southeast region when they visit the Presidents’ Trophy winners in the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Action from Amalie Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NHL Network for those outside the DMV beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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10 Responses to Capitals Rally Past Hurricanes 3-2 With Two-Goal Third Period, Clinch Berth In Stanley Cup Playoffs

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  3. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Hooray for the Caps! They stole one on the road – again! And Coach Baldy has acquitted himself very well the past two months. The Caps had-their mid-season swoon. The GM unloaded some non-performers. The GM stole several good ones from other teams. Now the Caps look similar to where they were last season. A second Stanley Cup Championship? That’s up to the Hockey Gods

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  5. Anonymous says:

    HOw much are brett and Jake going to want to resign?

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