WASHINGTON (AP) _ Carolina's first victory in six games against Washington this season shouldn't have been so close.
The Hurricanes got goals from Jeff O'Neill and Erik Cole in a 2-1 win Wednesday night. They had 33 shots to the Capitals' 19, and dominated the action. The win gave Carolina points in five straight games.
``It's about time we showed up and played a good, hard, aggressive game. They had some flurries, but we had a pretty strong performance from the drop of the puck,'' said O'Neill.
O'Neill had the Hurricanes' second goal, which came with Carolina holding a two-man advantage midway in the second period. Cole tipped a shot past Washington goalie Sebastien Charpentier late in the first period to give the Hurricanes a 1-0 lead.
Washington had just five shots on goal in the first 38 minutes of the game _ and had only two in the third period of Monday's loss to Tampa Bay.
``That's not right,'' said Capitals coach Glen Hanlon. ``Seven shots in 60 minutes. That's not what we're trying to establish.''
Washington's only goal came on Robert Lang's 29th goal with 37 seconds to play in the second period. Lang has a point in his last 13 games.
The Capitals' Jeff Halpern said of the team's lack of offense:
``This was embarrassing. It's not acceptable. We're a little limited in some areas. We have a tough time generating a lot of shots.''
Lang nearly tied the score on a breakaway in the third period, but Carolina goalie Arturs Irbe thwarted Lang's drive. About 40 seconds later, Lang tried again, but his shot was wide. Irbe snagged another shot by Lang on a power play with just under six minutes to play.
``You don't want to overcommit because you tend to think he cannot get the good shot off. Knowing his skill, he can free up anytime _ and he did,'' Irbe said. ``I got to move over and get the glove on it.''
Irbe was making his first appearance of the year after being recalled from Johnstown of the Eastern League on Feb. 17. Irbe, the franchise leader in games played in goal with 300, spent more than two months on the injured list with a wrist injury.
``It's been over a year for me, personally. It's good to get one back from these guys who have been waiting so long,'' Irbe said.