Alex Ovechkin Leads Capitals To 3-2 Win Over Hurricanes In Exhibition Game Before Round-Robin With Two Goals, Three Points

Andre Ringuette:Getty ImagesPhoto: Andre Ringuette/Getty Images

In their first game since March 9, the Washington Capitals defeated the Carolina Hurricanes by a score of 3-2 at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto on Wednesday in both teams’ lone exhibition game before the Stanley Cup Qualifiers begin. Goaltender Braden Holtby, who played the first 40 minutes of Wednesday’s game, made 12 saves while Vitek Vanecek, who played the final 20, made 13 against the Hurricanes.

Capitals’ Lines vs. Hurricanes

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Teams are permitted to dress two extra players for the exhibition games since that is their only chance to experiment with line chemistry and get their players warmed up for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Capitals opted to dress forward Travis Boyd (and rotated him in with center Lars Eller with Eller set to leave the Eastern Conference bubble for the birth of his second child next week) and defenseman Radko Gudas.

First Period

Captain Alex Ovechkin hammered a shot from his office on the power-play after getting a feed from forward T.J. Oshie from the top to open the scoring for the Capitals 8:27 into the game.

Center Vincent Trocheck tied it up 30 seconds later, poking a rebound Holtby coughed up in the crease after defenseman Jake Gardiner’s point shot hit the post.

Center Evgeny Kuznetsov tapped in Ovechkin’s pass from the circle at the doorstep to give the Capitals the lead back 1:37 after the Hurricanes tied the game.

The Capitals led 7-5 in shots, 4-2 in blocked shots, and converted on their lone power play in the first period.

The Hurricanes won 69% of the draws. They led 8-7 in hits, 2-1 in takeaways, and had three giveaways while the Capitals had five in the first.

Second Period

Ovechkin beat Mrazek to the blocker-side after getting a cross-ice feed from forward Tom Wilson on an odd-man rush for his third point of the night and to make it 3-1 Capitals at 12:25.

The Capitals led 17-13 in shots, including 10-8 in the second, 7-6 in blocked shots, 16-15 in hits, and went one-for-four on the man advantage through 40 minutes.

The Hurricanes won 63% of the draws and had five giveaways while the Capitals had seven in the first two periods. They also led 5-1 in takeaways after two.

Goaltender James Reimer came in after Mrazek played the first 32:25 of the game, making 13 saves on 16 shots.

Third Period

Forward Teuvo Teravainen ripped one from the right circle glove-side on Vanecek after center Sebastian Aho fed him cross-rink on a five-on-three power play to cut the lead to 3-2 2:41 into the third.

The Capitals led 9-8 in blocked shots, 24-18 in hits, and went one-for-five on the man advantage.

The Hurricanes led 27-25 in shots, including 14-8 the third period, won 66% of the draws and had six giveaways while the Capitals had 10. They also led 7-1 in takeaways and went one-for-five on the power-play.

Defenseman John Carlson did not play the final few minutes after colliding into the end boards but it could have been precautionary.

The Capitals open their three-game round-robin tournament against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday (4 PM ET, NBCSN nationally, NBC Sports Washington locally) while the Hurricanes start their qualifying round series against the New York Rangers on Saturday (12 PM ET, NBCSN nationally).

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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