NHL Game Summary - Washington at Carolina
(Saturday, March 21st)
Final Score: Carolina 4, Washington 1
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Cam Ward was stellar between the pipes and Joni Pitkanen netted the game-winner early in the third period, as the Carolina Hurricanes defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-1, at RBC Center.
Rod Brind'Amour, Anton Babchuk and Joe Corvo also scored for the Hurricanes, who have won eight straight as the host. Ward stopped 31-of-32 shots for Carolina, which is sixth in the Eastern Conference with 85 points and trails Philadelphia and Pittsburgh by one point in the standings.
"Of all the games we've played, I was most impressed with the resiliency that group showed tonight," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice. "I also think we got better as the game went on, and that was a real positive for our team."
Mike Green found the back of the net for the Southeast Division-leading Capitals, who lost for just the second time in their last seven games. While teammate Alex Ovechkin leads the NHL with 50 goals, Green is pacing all defensemen with 28 tallies and 64 points on the season.
"I thought the first period we were really good, then the second period we turned the puck over to them and that gave them opportunities," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "It gave them a little momentum. It was definitely an issue."
Jose Theodore gave up three goals on 29 shots for Washington, which is third in the East with 96 points, one behind the New Jersey Devils.
Carolina drew first blood on a strike by Brind'Amour 3:53 into the second period, but a rocket off the stick of Green past the blocker of Ward evened things up with 33.7 seconds left in the middle frame.
The Hurricanes regained the lead early in the third period. Moments after a successful penalty kill, Pitkanen picked up the juicy rebound of an Eric Staal shot and lifted a backhander over a fallen Theodore at the 4:42 mark.
Babchuk provided some insurance with 6:17 remaining and Corvo added a short- handed empty-net marker in the final minute.
Ward made his 21st consecutive start, a career-high...Washington and Carolina split the six-game season series...The Hurricanes are 22-13-1 at home this season...The Capitals are 19-14-4 as the visitors.
03/21 22:48:34 ET