NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Washington
(Saturday, November 24th)
Final Score: Washington 5, Carolina 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin scored a pair of goals, including a clutch tally in the final minutes, to lift the Washington Capitals over the Carolina Hurricanes, 5-2.
Michael Nylander scored a goal and added two helpers for Washington, which won its second in a row after breaking a five-game losing streak on Friday. Nicklas Backstrom added two assists, and Olaf Kolzig stopped 35 shots for the Capitals in the win.
Ray Whitney and Erik Cole scored the goals for Carolina, which has lost four of six. John Grahame made 29 saves in the loss in place of starter Cam Ward, as the Hurricanes played their second game in as many days.
Holding a 3-2 lead with time running down in the third period, Ovechkin scored his second goal, slinging a shot from the right circle stick-side past Grahame. That put the Capitals up 4-2 with just 1:50 left.
The Hurricanes couldn't come back from the deficit, as they even had a goal called off with less than a minute left. Boyd Gordon added Washington's last goal on an empty net with 39 seconds left.
The final two minutes of play re-established the Capitals' dominance in the game, which they displayed right out of the gate. Washington recorded a pair of power play goals in the first period to take a two-goal lead.
The first came just 3:03 into the game, after Nylander received the puck below the right circle. Nylander pushed a perfect pass to Mike Green, who was positioned just to the left of the slot, and Green one-timed it past Grahame.
A little more than three minutes later, Nylander set up the other goal from the boards to the right of Carolina's net. He wheeled a pass backwards to Ovechkin, who one-timed the puck in the net for a 2-0 lead.
"(The power play) has been kind of our Achilles Heel since the beginning of the year," Kolzig said. "But when that's clicking, and our own PK was playing the way it did tonight, chances are pretty good we will get a win."
With 8:30 left in the second period, with Washington again on the power play, Nylander put his team up 3-0 with quick wrist shot from the slot.
"We know that they're going to hit, come at us hard, and throw every shot they can at the net," Carolina forward Justin Williams said. "Our penalty kill is losing us games, and tonight it did again."
Cole then put the Hurricanes on the board with just nine seconds left in the stanza, with a tremendous solo move. He received a feed from Cory Stillman, and crossed mid-ice. Cole then split two Capitals defensemen, while still controlling the puck, and snapped a shot past Kolzig's blocker.
It was Cole's first goal since coming back from a neck injury sustained on November 12. Cole appeared in the Hurricanes' game on Friday, his first game back, but did not score. Whitney drew Carolina within one goal 2:09 into the third period, making the score 3-2.
It was the first home game for Washington interim head coach Bruce Boudreau, who was introduced in the position on Thursday...Ovechkin extended his point- scoring streak to a season-high eight games. He also moved into a tie with Calle Johansson for 19th on the Capitals' all-time goal-scoring list, with 113...Stillman has assists and points in four straight games...Whitney has points in three straight games.
11/24 23:04:48 ET