Carolina
Hurricanes
45-30-7
Washington
Capitals
50-24-8
SO
32 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
CAR ()
WSH ()
game recap

Capitals 5, Hurricanes 4, SO

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 1:51 AM

Associated Press

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Capitals 5, Hurricanes 4, SO
Carolina Hurricanes 4, Washington Capitals 5

WASHINGTON (AP) -With players like Alex Ovechkin, Alexander Semin and Mike Green, Washington Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau never got too worried when his team slumped.

Even a four-game home losing streak wasn't cause for real concern.

"We're a good team," Boudreau said. "Good teams don't lose forever."

Thanks to offense provided early by - who else? - Ovechkin, Semin and Green, and some clutch goaltending late by Jose Theodore, the Capitals finally rediscovered how to win in Washington, beating the Carolina Hurricanes 5-4 in a shootout Saturday night.

Ovechkin moved within one goal of becoming the first Capitals player with 50 in three seasons and netted the clincher in the shootout. Semin scored his 29th goal and added three assists, while Green had his 24th goal - the most among NHL defensemen - and one assist.

The Capitals won 18 of their first 20 home games this season, but entered Saturday just 7-8-1 since then. Magnifying their woes in Washington: They have won five games in a row away from the nation's capital.

"We've been struggling a little bit at home. If you're going to have success in the playoffs, you have to have a great record at home," said Nicklas Backstrom, who added a goal and an assist. "I mean, we have to start winning at home again."

After a bit of what Boudreau called a stumble, the Capitals have a three-game winning streak overall and a comfortable lead atop the Southeast Division.

The Hurricanes, meanwhile, are locked in a tight race among six teams for the final four postseason berths in the Eastern Conference. And while they spoke afterward about being pleased to leave with one standings point instead of zero - the Hurricanes rallied from deficits of 3-1 and 4-2 - they also were left to discuss how they failed to convert any of their many chances in overtime, including during a power play.

"Nobody had any legs left," Hurricanes coach Paul Maurice said. "We were dragging."

Erik Cole, Eric Staal and Ray Whitney each scored for Carolina, now winless in its past three road games.

"We worked our tail off in the third period to get ourselves back," Carolina goalie Cam Ward said.

But in the shootout, Theodore stopped attempts by Carolina's Tuomo Ruutu and Jussi Jokinen, while Semin tallied after Ward blocked Viktor Kozlov's try.

That left things up to Ovechkin. The last time Washington played at home, it was Ovechkin's miss in a shootout that left the Capitals on the losing end against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He delivered on this night.

"We have the skill," Ovechkin said. "We just have to play simple."

He and Semin each extended personal point streaks, while Green ended his seven-game goal drought. Ovechkin has seven goals and seven assists in his past 10 games, while Semin is up to seven goals and nine assists in his personal-best nine-game run.

It was 1 1/2 minutes into the second period when Semin put the hosts up 3-1, collecting a rebound and spinning around to shoot.

"What can I say? It's pretty hard to stop him," Ovechkin said.

But Staal cut the deficit just before the period's 6-minute mark, right after Ward thwarted a 5-on-1 rush for Washington. Defenseman Dennis Seidenberg got the puck to Ray Whitney breaking the other way for what became a 2-on-1, and while Theodore blocked the initial shot, Staal was there to knock in the rebound.

"It was like pond hockey, and in the playoffs, you have to play much more structured," Boudreau said. "When we had the 5-on-1, five guys is too much. Three guys would have been fine."

After Backstrom's goal gave Washington a 4-2 lead 12 1/2 minutes into the second period, Carolina rallied.

Whitney scored with 7.3 seconds remaining in the period, off assists from Cole and Staal. And then they tied it midway through the third on Niclas Wallin's goal.

Thanks to Theodore's strong play the rest of the way, the Hurricanes wouldn't put the puck in the net again.

"Jose was great all night," Boudreau said. "If he wasn't at his top of his game, they would have had six or seven, easy."

Notes: Washington's Sergei Fedorov (flulike symptoms) and Donald Brashear (knee) missed their second game in a row. ... Hurricanes RW Scott Walker missed a fifth consecutive game with an upper-body injury.

scoring summary
1st Period
09:53
CAR
Erik Cole (18) Wrist shot - ASST: Eric Staal (29), Ray Whitney (39)
1 - 0 CAR
10:59
WSH
Mike Green (24) Wrist shot - ASST: Alexander Semin (38), Nicklas Backstrom (55)
1 - 1 Tie
18:01
WSH
PPG - Alex Ovechkin (49) Wrist shot - ASST: Mike Green (36), Alexander Semin (39)
2 - 1 WSH
2nd Period
01:30
WSH
PPG - Alexander Semin (29) Wrist shot - ASST: Brooks Laich (23), Alex Ovechkin (40)
3 - 1 WSH
05:57
CAR
Eric Staal (33) Wrist shot - ASST: Ray Whitney (40), Dennis Seidenberg (20)
3 - 2 WSH
12:27
WSH
PPG - Nicklas Backstrom (19) Wrist shot - ASST: Michael Nylander (21), Alexander Semin (40)
4 - 2 WSH
19:52
CAR
Ray Whitney (23) Wrist shot - ASST: Erik Cole (17), Eric Staal (30)
4 - 3 WSH
3rd Period
10:47
CAR
Niclas Wallin (2) Slapshot - ASST: Dennis Seidenberg (21), Matt Cullen (20)
4 - 4 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDWSHCARTOTAL
1V. Kozlov
T. Ruutu
0 - 0
2A. Semin
J. Jokinen
1 - 0
3A. Ovechkin
2 - 0
penalty summary
1st Period
16:45
CAR
Niclas Wallin  Interference against  Eric Fehr
2nd Period
00:40
CAR
Eric Staal  Interference against  Matt Bradley
01:57
WSH
Michael Nylander  Holding against  Matt Cullen
03:25
CAR
Jussi Jokinen  Cross checking against  Mike Green
07:07
WSH
Tom Poti  Roughing against  Tim Gleason
07:07
WSH
John Erskine  Roughing against  Ray Whitney
07:07
CAR
Ray Whitney  Roughing against  John Erskine
07:07
CAR
Tim Gleason  Roughing against  Tom Poti
11:05
CAR
Erik Cole  Hi-sticking against  John Erskine
14:29
WSH
Tom Poti  Elbowing against  Chad LaRose
17:39
WSH
Alexander Semin  Hooking against  Erik Cole
3rd Period
NONE
OT Period
01:17
WSH
Tom Poti  Hooking against  Eric Staal
goalie stats
Cam Ward
Cam Ward
30-22-5
SA: 31TOI: 64:33
Saves: 27EV: 22 - 23
PIM: 0PP: 4 - 7
SV%: .871SH: 1 - 1
Jose Theodore
Jose Theodore
27-14-4
SA: 32TOI: 65:00
Saves: 28EV: 20 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 7 - 7
SV%: .875SH: 1 - 1