NHL Game Summary - Washington at Carolina
(Monday, November 30th)
Final Score: Washington 3, Carolina 2
Raleigh, NC (Sports Network) - Nicklas Backstrom scored twice and added an assist, as Washington defeated Carolina, 3-2, but lost Alex Ovechkin to what is possibly a serious knee injury.
Eric Fehr had a goal and an assist, and Jose Theodore made 38 saves for the Southeast Division-leading Capitals, who won their third game in a row but may have to press on without their superstar left winger.
Ovechkin was involved in a knee-to-knee collision with Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason at 12:05 of the first period and was clearly in pain. It's unclear if he would have attempted a return to the game, as he was assessed a game misconduct penalty for initiating the hit.
He immediately grabbed for his right knee after the two made contact and was unable to put any kind of pressure on his right leg while being helped off the ice by a member of the medical staff and a teammate.
"He hurt his knee obviously...leans in with his shoulder, we looked at it a lot and his legs follow him. Alex is trying to hit him and Gleason made a pretty good move to the inside, but as he is moving his leg comes out and hits him so we'll see," said Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau. "Anytime Alex is hurt I am concerned, he is stiff right now but I do not know how long he is going to be out or if he is going to be out at all. We will find out a lot more the next morning."
Joe Corvo and Matt Cullen scored for the Hurricanes, who have lost five straight games and remain last in the NHL with just 15 points on the season. Michael Leighton gave up three goals on 33 shots in the loss.
Making matters worse were injuries to defensemen Gleason and Corvo. Gleason managed to return to the ice after being helped off, but Corvo wasn't so lucky. Only 34 seconds after netting the game's first goal, Corvo was cut on the back of the leg by the skate of Washington's Karl Alzner and was taken to the hospital.
"He went to the hospital, he is stable, he is fine, he is going to be okay," Carolina head coach Paul Maurice said of Corvo. "The extent of the injury we won't know until a doctor gets in there and looks at it and find out exactly how deep it is and what it caught.
The Caps went up by a 3-1 margin on Backstrom's backhander into a wide open net with Leighton out of position with 5:07 to play in the second.
Things stayed that way until Carolina came up with a goal from Cullen inside the final minute of the game with Leighton on the bench. Theodore was able to deny the 'Canes on their other 23 shots over the last 40 minutes for the win.
Corvo roofed a rebound off a Tuomo Ruutu shot on the power-play 4:35 into the game to give Carolina a 1-0 lead. Washington evened the score less than two minutes later on Backstrom's tip-in at the right side of the net off a centering pass from Ovechkin.
Backstrom then feathered a neat pass across the slot to Fehr on a 2-on-1 for an easy score and a 2-1 edge with 2:40 to go in the first.
The Hurricanes defense was already without Joni Pitkanen, who is out with an upper-body injury...Washington is 8-3-3 as the visiting club this year...Despite the win, the Caps have dropped seven of the last 10 in Raleigh...Ovechkin already endured a six-game absence due to an upper-body strain earlier this season. He was injured November 1 against Columbus and was out until November 17...Carolina's Eric Staal notched his 200th career assist.
11/30 23:53:52 ET