|WSH||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||3|
|CAR||0||0||0||(0 - 0)||4|
Sometimes all a slumping team needs is a break or two – or three or four.
The Carolina Hurricanes got all the bounces Friday night against the Washington Capitals and three favorable reviews from the video goal judge at the RBC Center in a 4-3 victory.
The Southeast Division-leading Canes had lost five of seven coming in and are ready to embark on a five-game road trip, so a win over the Caps was crucial to end the bleeding and give the club a winning record in the month of November.
Two Washington goals – one that was kicked in by Alex Ovechkin and another by Mike Green as time expired at the end of the second period – were disallowed. Meanwhile, the first of Rod Brind’Amour’s two goals was allowed despite a questionable high stick.
“It seemed like the hockey gods were looking down on us to get those reviews to go our way,” said Cam Ward. “But we’re not going to kid ourselves. We know we have a lot more to give.”
Brind’Amour echoed the comments of Ward, once again criticizing a porous penalty killing unit and an offense that generated a season-low 19 shots.
“We didn’t create very much. It was one of those ugly games, but we’ll take it,” the captain said. “It’s one of those games we’re going to leave here. We’re going to take the points and move on.”
Ovechkin, who Carolina once again had trouble controlling, cut the Hurricanes’ two-goal cushion to 3-2 just 32 seconds into the third period on a power play goal.
But Brind’Amour countered less than four minutes later from behind the goal line, bouncing the puck off the back of Olaf Kolzig and then the stick of a Washington player who was trying to clear the rubber.
“That play happens once every 100 times,” said Brind’Amour. “It was due to happen, I guess.”
Michael Nylander scored with 4:07 left and Justin Williams took a delay of game penalty with 1:33 remaining to give the Caps a power play and 6-on-4 advantage with Kolzig out of the net late, but Ward held off the late attack for his 12th win of the season.
“We’re shooting ourselves in the foot too many times, turning the puck over, guys are standing in front of our net and nobody is getting knocked down,” coach Peter Laviolette said of a poor third period.
Matt Cullen scored just his second goal in the last 12 games for a 2-1 lead when he flipped the puck off the shoulder of Kolzig from a centering pass from Ray Whitney, who now has at least one point in five straight games.
Ovechkin scored his fourth goal in as many as games against Carolina when his blast off a face-off eluded Ward’s blocker to give the Caps a 1-0 lead 2:35 in.
“He’s the best one-on-one player in the game,” Brind’Amour said when asked how difficult it was to control Ovechkin. “He can just rip shots. You give him any kind of breathing room and he’s deadly.”
“There is a reason why he is one of the elite players in the league,” added Ward. “I thought on both goals that he scored on me I was in good position, I was up on the top of the crease. Sometimes you have to tip your hat to the player, he blew it by me.”
Ovechkin appeared to give the Caps a 2-1 lead with 5:27 left in the period, but after a review it was ruled he directed the puck past Ward with his left skate.
Ovechkin then took down Chad LaRose on a breakaway after the Carolina winger got out of the penalty box. But LaRose missed his penalty shot on Kolzig, making a move on the Washington goalie before losing the puck off his stick.
The Canes finished 7-5 during a grueling month-long stretch against Southeast Division opponents. The only team the club played outside of the division since Oct. 27 was Philadelphia, losing twice.
“It’s good to get away from the Southeast Division,” Justin Williams said of the Canes upcoming road trip.
NOTES: Carolina has allowed 15 goals to Ovechkin in 20 career games. … The Canes have surrendered at least one power play goal in 16 of 26 games. … Andrew Ladd’s assist on Brind’Amour’s first goal was his first point since the second game of the season. … Scott Walker took a shot off his right calf with seven minutes left. He had an ice pack on it after the game but was walking around the locker room and appeared to be OK for Buffalo on Saturday night.
|PPG - Alex Ovechkin (18) ASST: Michael Nylander (17)|
1 - 0 WSH
|Cory Stillman (13) ASST: Eric Staal (10), Scott Walker (3)|
1 - 1 Tie
|Matt Cullen (6) ASST: Ray Whitney (15), Glen Wesley (2)|
2 - 1 CAR
|Rod Brind'Amour (12) ASST: Tim Gleason (4), Andrew Ladd (1)|
3 - 1 CAR
|PPG - Alex Ovechkin (19) ASST: Alexander Semin (2)|
3 - 2 CAR
|Rod Brind'Amour (13) ASST: NONE|
4 - 2 CAR
|Michael Nylander (7) ASST: Viktor Kozlov (12), Alex Ovechkin (11)|
4 - 3 CAR
|Scott Walker Hooking against Alexander Semin|
|Michael Nylander Hooking against Andrew Ladd|
|David Steckel Hooking against Eric Staal|
|Chad LaRose Hooking against Mike Green|
|Tom Poti Delaying Game - Puck over glass|
|Bret Hedican Roughing against Nicklas Backstrom|
|Justin Williams Hi-sticking against Michael Nylander|
|Tim Gleason Tripping against Mike Green|
|Alexander Semin Hooking against Matt Cullen|
|Eric Staal Tripping against Brooks Laich|
|Mike Green Hi-sticking against Chad LaRose|
|Justin Williams Delaying Game - Puck over glass|
|SA: 19||TOI: 57:45|
|Saves: 15||EV: 9 - 13|
|PIM: 0||PP: 5 - 5|
|SV%: .789||SH: 1 - 1|
|SA: 34||TOI: 59:30|
|Saves: 31||EV: 21 - 22|
|PIM: 0||PP: 10 - 12|
|SV%: .912||SH: 0 - 0|