Game Recap

Hurricanes 6, Capitals 3

Wednesday, 08.06.2014 / 4:47 AM

David Droschak

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Hurricanes 6, Capitals 3
Washington Capitals 3, Carolina Hurricanes 6

Separation. It’s something the Carolina Hurricanes have been searching for the last three months.

Well, the Canes now have some space in the Southeast Division after a three-day period produced wins over closest competitors Atlanta and Washington, extending the lead to six points over the Caps and seven against the Thrashers pending Atlanta’s outcome at Toronto tonight. 

The Hurricanes disposed of the Capitals on Saturday 6-3, matching a season-high with four power-play goals while holding NHL leader Alexander Ovechkin without a goal. 

“It was intense right off the bat and it felt like a playoff game pretty much the whole way through,” said Eric Staal. “We competed hard and it was obviously a big win for our team. It’s something we want to continue to build on.”

It was also the third straight game in which the Canes registered at least 40 shots, getting 42 in this one to improve to 6-0-1 in their last seven games at the RBC Center.

“We’re just putting everything on the net and crashing,” said Joe Corvo, who scored his first goal as a Carolina player 7:44 into the third to ice the key win. “There are not a lot of restrictions here and I sort of have the green light to jump into plays. It’s fun hockey.”

The Hurricanes wasted little time taking charge in the second period, getting power-play goals from Matt Cullen and Erik Cole in the opening 5:56.

The Canes were outshooting the Caps 12-2 in the period before Gleason was slapped with an interference penalty, giving Washington’s power play another chance at Cam Ward. The Caps took advantage, trying the score for the third time at 3-3 on a goal by Brooks Laich.

But Staal notched his 30th late in the second to give the Canes some momentum and the lead heading into the third, a period in which they’ve dominated all season with an NHL-best 77 goals. Staal picked up a loose rebound and emptied the puck into a wide open net to match his goal total of last year with 17 games remaining.

Andrew Ladd poked home his ninth of the season 3:50 into the third to give the Canes a two-goal cushion. Once again, the goal was produced by the skating of Sergei Samsonov, who circled away from a Washington defender in the corner before feeding Tim Conboy for a shot. Conboy, with two assists in his previous six NHL games, notched two in this important division matchup as the minor-league call-ups from Albany continue to shine.

Four minutes later, Corvo scored the team’s fourth with the man advantage. The power-play outburst came against a team that hadn’t been scored on shorthanded in 22 chances spanning six games.

“When you’re doing things the right way on the power play and you’re attacking and there is movement there are a lot of shots, so my last words when we left the meeting today was ‘Keep doing the same thing, they’re going to drop’ and they sure did tonight,” coach Peter Laviolette said.   

“We felt like we were getting close the last few games,” added Corvo. “We felt like we were close to the dam breaking.”

Carolina tied it 1-1 with 6:36 left in the first when Cullen’s slap shot found its way through a maze of players to beat Olaf Kolzig. It was the first power-play goal since the Canes went 3-for-6 with the man advantage in a 4-2 win over Pittsburgh six games ago.

The Canes had a two-man advantage over the final 43.5 seconds of the first, but couldn’t crack Kolzig despite buzzing around the Washington net and went into the locker room trailing 2-1.

The second Washington goal came on the power play and off the stick of red-hot Alexander Semin, whose shot actually deflected off the stick of Carolina defenseman Glen Wesley and past Ward. Wesley later left and didn’t return after taking a hit. Laviolette said the 20-year NHL veteran defenseman didn’t feel good enough to return to the ice.   

The Canes fell behind 1-0 early in the first when the Caps broke out on a 4-on-2 break led by Ovechkin, who slid a nice pass over to Mike Green for his 16th of the season. Less than a minute earlier, Ward kept Washington off the board with a great glove save on Semin after the first of a series of turnovers that allowed the Caps to outshoot the Canes 9-1 nine minutes into the game.   

Ovechkin assisted on the first three Washington goals, giving him 27 points in 22 career games against the Canes.

“We know where the other teams are, they’ve been on our backs,” Bret Hedican said. “We think that of all the other teams (in the Southeast) Washington is a very good hockey team and we gave them a lot of respect. They came out and had a little bit of a jump, we settled down and got to our game and ended up taking it to them.”  

NOTES: The last time the franchise recorded 40 or more shots in three straight games was March 1987. … Carolina scored three or more power-play goals for the sixth time this season. … Trevor Letowski played in his 600th career game. … Cullen matched his point total (41) last season in 80 games with the Rangers with his first goal. … Cullen also won 11 of 12 face-offs. … Tim Gleason blocked a team-high five shots and now has 91 on the season. … Ray Whitney has nine points in his last five games. … The Canes dropped the Caps to 0-23-2 when trailing after two periods.

scoring summary
1st Period
Mike Green (16) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (31)
1 - 0 WSH
PPG - Matt Cullen (10) ASST: Ray Whitney (33), Joe Corvo (24)
1 - 1 Tie
PPG - Alexander Semin (18) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (32), Tomas Fleischmann (17)
2 - 1 WSH
2nd Period
PPG - Matt Cullen (11) ASST: Erik Cole (23), Joe Corvo (25)
2 - 2 Tie
PPG - Erik Cole (15) ASST: Eric Staal (27), Ray Whitney (34)
3 - 2 CAR
PPG - Brooks Laich (11) ASST: Alex Ovechkin (33), Mike Green (24)
3 - 3 Tie
Eric Staal (30) ASST: Sergei Samsonov (12), Tim Conboy (3)
4 - 3 CAR
3rd Period
Andrew Ladd (9) ASST: Tim Conboy (4), Sergei Samsonov (13)
5 - 3 CAR
PPG - Joe Corvo (7) ASST: Eric Staal (28), Matt Cullen (32)
6 - 3 CAR
penalty summary
1st Period
Wade Brookbank  Fighting (maj) against  Donald Brashear
Donald Brashear  Fighting (maj) against  Wade Brookbank
Mike Green  Roughing against  Erik Cole
Andrew Ladd  Slashing against  Matt Pettinger
Sami Lepisto  Hooking against  Keith Aucoin
Shaone Morrisonn  Hooking against  Ray Whitney
2nd Period
Tomas Fleischmann  Hooking against  Bret Hedican
Tom Poti  Cross checking against  Scott Walker
Tim Gleason  Interference against  Alexander Semin
Andrew Ladd  Tripping against  Shaone Morrisonn
3rd Period
Erik Cole  Hi-sticking against  Alex Ovechkin
Viktor Kozlov  Hi stick - double minor against  Tim Gleason
goalie stats
Olie Kolzig
Olie Kolzig
SA: 42TOI: 60:00
Saves: 36EV: 22 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 14 - 18
SV%: .857SH: 0 - 0
Cam Ward
SA: 34TOI: 59:56
Saves: 31EV: 27 - 28
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 6
SV%: .912SH: 0 - 0