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NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Washington

(Tuesday, March 29th)

Final Score: Carolina 3, Washington 2 (SO)

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Jeff Skinner scored the tying goal in the third and the winner in the shootout as Carolina grabbed a big 3-2 victory over Washington.

Skinner opened up the shootout and snapped a wrister past Semyon Varlamov. Cam Ward made stops on Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom before Tuomo Ruutu iced the game when he lifted a backhander into the net.

Jussi Jokinen scored the other goal while Ward finished with 38 saves for the Hurricanes, who have won four of five.

Coupled with Buffalo's loss to Toronto on Tuesday, the Hurricanes moved to three points back of the Sabres for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Both teams have six games to play.

"They got two good goals on us but we still had a good feeling going into the third period," said Jokinen. "We need all the points we can get here these last games."

Alexander Semin had a goal and an assist while Marcus Johansson added a goal for the Capitals, who have dropped two of three. Varlamov made 24 stops.

Washington fell three points back of the Flyers (102-99), who defeated the Penguins on Tuesday, for the top spot in the Eastern Conference. Also, Washington saw its lead over Tampa Bay for first in the Southeastern Division fall to six points after Tampa defeated Ottawa on Tuesday.

"I thought at times it was a very lackluster game by us," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "When you don't play with emotion it's tough to win in this league."

The first period went scoreless as the teams combined for 27 shots with Ward facing the majority while making 16 stops.

Carolina took the lead 2:29 into the second on the power play when Joe Corvo sent a pass from behind the right side of the net to the front where Jokinen redirected it in.

Chad LaRose failed on a penalty shot attempt 10 minutes later and the Capitals tied the game at the 14:18 mark of the second.

Semin was fed the puck along the right boards and skated down to the side of the net where he snapped a shot into the top of the net for his 27th goal of the year.

Washington then took a 2-1 lead with 2:25 to play in the second as, on a rush, the puck wound up going to the right where Johansson charged the net and stuffed it in.

Skinner tied the game 1:46 in when he skated into the Washington end down the left wing and wristed the puck home from the circle for his 27th goal of the year.

Game Notes

Ovechkin returned from a three-game absence with an undisclosed injury and Jason Arnott came back from missing the past six games with a lower body injury...Carolina avoided the sweep as Washington had won the previous five games in the series this season...Washington hosts Columbus on Thursday...Carolina hosts Montreal on Wednesday.

03/30 01:47:42 ET

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