NHL Game Summary - Carolina at Washington
(Friday, February 8th)
Final Score: Carolina 2, Washington 1
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Cam Ward made 33 stops to record his 22nd win of the season, as Carolina clipped Washington, 2-1, at Verizon Center.
Erik Cole and Andrew Ladd scored for the Hurricanes, who snapped a two-game slide and moved ahead of Washington into first place in the Southeast Division with 58 points.
"There was a lot of energy," said Carolina head coach Peter Laviolette of his team's performance. "The thing is, it's one game. We need to bring this consistency every night and that is a challenge."
Alexander Semin tallied for the Capitals, who had won three of four coming in. Brent Johnson was solid in defeat, allowing two goals on 23 shots.
Cole put the 'Canes on the board less than four minutes into the game when he faked a Capitals defender on the right side, cut in, pulled Johnson to the left, switched to the backhand and shoveled the puck into an open net.
Ladd made it 2-0 with 5:13 left in the first as he tapped home the rebound of Sergei Samsonov's right circle chance, which kicked out to the young forward waiting on the left side.
The Caps had a two-man advantage early in the second but failed to convert. Eric Staal had the best chance on the penalty kill for Carolina, as his shot clanged off the crossbar while a man down.
Semin picked up his 14th goal of the season midway through the third period, bringing Washington within a goal when he followed his own rebound and backhanded the puck through Ward's five-hole.
Ward remained strong down the stretch, stopping a pair of chances while the Caps were on a power play late in regulation, and 12-of-13 shots overall in the final 20 minutes to secure the win.
"I don't know if it helps our hurts," said Caps head coach Bruce Boudreau about the relative youth of his club being a factor in the division race. "There's something to be said about youth compared to experience. When you win, you can say we're experienced, we knew how do it. A lot of these guys on our team have been in pressure situations. Not NHL pressure, but it's pressure. They should know how to cope with it."
The home team had won each of the last five meetings...Washington's Alex Ovechkin, the NHL goal leader with 46, was held without a shot in the first period and without a point in the contest...Veteran forward Ray Whitney was whistled for four of Carolina's nine penalties and finished the game with a minus-one...Hurricanes captain Rod Brind'Amour picked up an assist on Ladd's goal, and has recorded a point in nine of his last 11 games.
02/09 00:07:20 ET