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NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Washington

(Monday, December 28th)

Final Score: Carolina 6, Washington 3

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Eric Staal had two goals and three assists, as the Hurricanes tallied three times in the first period on the way to a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center.

Jussi Jokinen added a goal and two assists, while Tuomo Ruutu had a goal and an assist for Carolina, which won for only the second time in 19 road contests. Sergei Samsonov and Brandon Sutter also scored, while Matt Cullen had two assists in the win.

Cam Ward made 28 stops to earn the victory.

"We've been getting a lot more confidence lately," said Carolina head coach Paul Maurice. "It's a hard thing to get, but we've been building some lately."

Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green each notched a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who lost for the first time in nine intradivisional games. Eric Fehr also scored, and Jose Theodore stopped just 20-of-25 shots in defeat.

"We had too many penalties in the first period and they took advantage of it," said Ovechkin. "They felt good after that and kept pushing and we couldn't do anything about it."

Carolina took it to Washington in the first period, as the Hurricanes exploded for three goals.

The visitors had a full two-minute two-man advantage following a double minor to Nicklas Backstrom and a minor to Green. The opportunity was nearly wasted before Ruutu poked in a rebound at the mouth of the crease with four seconds remaining on the power play at 7:44.

Staal made it a 2-0 game just past the midway point of the period, batting a Cullen shot out of midair and into the net from the top of the crease. Jokinen extended the margin to three with a shot just over Theodore's left shoulder at 14:30.

Green put Washington on the board with a power play goal 1:14 into the second period, but Sutter restored Carolina's three-goal lead with a rebound chance through Theodore's legs just over two minutes later.

The Capitals made it 4-2 before the end of the second period on Fehr's poke through Ward's legs with 7:04 on the clock. Washington had a power play to start the third period and made it count, as Ovechkin tallied his 26th goal of the season at 1:22 to make it a one-goal game.

Carolina responded again on Samsonov's tally with 10 minutes remaining. Staal fed the puck across the ice to Samsonov, who followed his own shot and sent it into the top right corner for a 5-3 lead.

Staal added an empty-net goal with 1 1/2 minutes left to seal the win.

Game Notes

Washington suffered only its third regulation home defeat in 18 games at Verizon Center and had a five-game home win streak snapped...The Capitals traded captain Chris Clark and Milan Jurcina on Monday to Columbus for Jason Chimera...The Hurricanes snapped a three-game losing streak...Washington still leads the season series, 2-1...It was Staal's second career five-point game. His career-best is six points.

12/29 00:07:21 ET

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