Capitals Fall to Hurricanes 3-2 in Overtime Home Opener, Garnet Hathaway Scores First Caps Goal

1173876034_slidePatrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

After opening their season with two victories on the road, the Capitals fell to the Carolina Hurricanes 3-2 in their 2019-20 home opener on a night that saw offseason signing Garnet Hathaway score his first goal in a Caps sweater. 

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Braden Holtby got the nod in the team’s home opener, with Ilya Samsonov, fresh off his first NHL victory, as his backup. Carolina started James Reimer, who was playing in his first regular season game as a member of the Hurricanes. Petr Mrazek served as the backup for the ‘Canes.


The Hurricanes got the first power play early in the opening frame, as the Capitals’ Jonas Siegenthaler was called for interference 6:45 into the period. The Capitals would get on the board first, but not before Holtby stood tall in net to deny Carolina forwards Martin Necas and Sebastien Aho on two separate breakaways, including Aho on the man-advantage.

The Capitals would get their first man-advantage at the 8:11 mark, but like Carolina before them, would fail to convert. Offseason signing Garnet Hathaway would tally his first in a Capitals sweater at the 17:23 mark, with fellow free agent signing Brendan Leipsic recording the lone assist on the goal.

The Capitals would receive their second power play of the game and period at the tail-end of the opening period at the 19:22 mark. The two teams would head into the first intermission with the Capitals leading on the scoreboard and down in shots 12-10.

The Capitals would fail to convert on their second man-advantage of the night, but would get another chance with the man-advantage just a few minutes later at the 4:29 mark, as Carolina captain Jordan Staal was called for tripping Caps defenseman Nick Jensen, a power ply the Capitals would again fail to convert. The Caps would kill off another penalty of their own before right wing T.J. Oshie scored his second of the season and in as many games to give the home team a 2-0 lead over the ‘Canes.

The Caps would be gifted their their fourth man-advantage of the game at the 13:25 mark of the middle frame, but would again be thwarted by the Hurricanes. At the 17:07 mark of the period, a beautiful shot by Hathaway looked to give the home team a commanding 3-0 lead, but a subsequent Coach’s Challenge by Carolina bench boss Rod Brind’amour overturned what would have been No. 21’s second of the night. Holtby would remain strong in net throughout the remainder of the period, making stops on Aho and Warren Foegele with 3:23 and 3:17 left in the period.

The Capitals would be given their fifth power play opportunity with 1:09 left in the middle frame, giving them yet another chance to extend their lead over the ‘Canes. The man-advantage would carry over into the final frame of play. The two teams headed into the second intermission with the Caps firmly in control on the scoreboard and up by one in shots, 20-19.

After failing to convert on their fifth man-advantage, the Hurricanes got another power play chance of their own when Radko Gudas was called for interference on Carolina forward Ryan Dzingel at the 1:09 mark of the final frame of play. This time, the ‘Canes converted, with Erik Haula scoring his first of the season to cut the home team’s lead in half.

The Hurricanes would be gifted their fourth power play just a few minutes later, but the Caps would thwart this attempt as well. Just seconds later, the Hurricanes tied the game as Jaccob Slavin found himself all alone on Holtby, who he beat cleanly to knot the game 2-2 at the 9:50 mark of the third period.

The two teams would be forced to play 4-on-4 hockey with 7:31 left in the third, when Caps center Lars Eller and Carolina’s Joel Edmundson were called for high-sticking and holding the stick, respectively. The two teams would head into overtime 2-2.

The Capitals began the extra frame with sustained pressure, forcing Jordan Staal to take a hooking penalty and giving the Caps their sixth man-advantage of the night. The Capitals would fail to convert but not before getting a few prime chances to end it, including an Ovechkin pass that deflected off Joel Edmundson’s skate and nearly snuck past James Reimer.

After some immense pressure on Reimer, Carolina defenseman Jake Gardiner would put the puck past Holtby on a 2-on-1 in the Caps’ defensive zone to give the ‘Canes a 3-2 victory.

– During the team’s Red Carpet event prior to the game, Captain, the organization’s “Team Dog” made his debut with Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin.
– Brendan Leipsic’s assist on Garnet Hathaway’s goal was his first career point in a Capitals’ sweater.
– T.J. Oshie has scored on 17.2% (104 goals on 605 shots) in his Capitals career
– Despite falling in OT, the Capitals outshot the Hurricanes 35-28.

By Michael Fleetwood

About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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11 Responses to Capitals Fall to Hurricanes 3-2 in Overtime Home Opener, Garnet Hathaway Scores First Caps Goal

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    I know we can’t win them all but this one involved one of my pet peeves. My pet peeves for games lost are: 1) Blowing 2 goal or more lead late in the game; 2) Losing 1-0. This game felt all too much like their Game 7 against the Canes. Had at least a 2 goal lead twice and lost the game in OT.

    I’ve now vowed that if the Caps do not advance to Round 3, I will root for the winner of the Atlantic Division in Round 3 — provided that it’s a real Atlantic Division team and not some crossover wild card team.

  2. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Hi Diane! I’m frustrated too.

    Caps lost a won game. Made their opponent look better than they really are. Caps El Stinko Power Play Zero-for-Six. Doesn’t the coaching staff get paid to fix these things? Kuznetsov can’t return fast enough. No more knuckleheads this year, okay Kuzy?

    Fourth line newcomers Hathaway and Leipsic look very good, hungry mean and fast. But where is Richard Panik? Very quietly, he has been totally invisible for three games. Orlov and Jensen had pretty good games against CAR

    I’ll take 5 of 6 points to start the season with Knucklehead on the bench. Now it’s time to fix obvious shortcomings. Coach Baldy call your office!

  3. James Lewis says:

    I noticed in Oshie’s 2nd intermission interview he made a comment about the team being really exhausted. I think 3 games in 4 nights before the guys have really gotten into their routine did them in tonight. You can’t play tired against the ‘Canes.

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