The Capitals fought through a relatively slow road game in Carolina and ended up capitalizing late to capture the win over their Metropolitan rival Hurricanes. Eric Fehr bagged the game winner with less than four minutes to play and Braden Holtby stopped 29 shots - your number one and two stars, respectively. The two points pushes Washington into a tie with the New York Rangers with another division matchup against the Devils up next.
Eleven more notes on tonight's game:
- Jay Beagle got the Capitals on the board first 139 seconds into the contest. A hard wrist shot (at full speed) from Jason Chimera hit Anton Khudobin's glove and the rebound flopped to the slot, where Beagle found the biscuit before Khudobin could. A backhanded tip pushed the puck into the net and Washington was up by one.
- I think we were all happy to see Alexander Semin's needless stick penalty in the first period since he was wearing the red of the opposition tonight. And right in the neutral zone too -some things never change.
- That same Semin stick work would also tie the game at one in the third period and notch his 500th career NHL point. Semin received a pass from Jay Harrison in the slot and made a deke to his backhand before roofing a shot off the crossbar and in.
- At one point or another, all of us fell in love with his handiwork during his 469 games with Washington. Enjoy this vintage snipe in celebration of the personal milestone (and be thankful for Brooks Orpik's block later in the game with 60 seconds left).
- Chimera and Semin led all skaters with five shots each tonight. When was the last time those two had an equal number of shots in an NHL contest? Anyone?
- Really unfortunate incident for Alex Ovechkin with five minutes to play - an illegal draw nullified what would've been the go ahead goal. NHL referees have been whistling a lot more illegal face offs this year but none have stung as much as tonight's. However, our disappointment wouldn't last long...
- Because a little over a minute later Fehr put the Capitals ahead after stealing the puck from Riley Nash's stick and driving in alone on Khudobin. Fehr shuffled the puck to his forehand at the top of the crease and roofed a shot to give Washington a lead they would not relinquish.
- A big reason for the Hurricanes' demise tonight were their 17 giveaways, the most egregious of which gave Fehr the opportunity to win the game in regulation. Washington, on the other hand, only committed three. As a result, Holtby managed his workload well and the Capitals only needed two goals to win away from home.
- For a team that has allowed six power play goals against in their past two games the Capitals didn't afford Carolina a single man advantage opportunity. Chimera was the only Washington skater with a minor penalty but the teams skated at four aside because of Semin's matching minor.
- Andre Burakovsky saw another night of limited duty - tonight was his fifth straight game with less than eleven minutes of ice time. He was only on for the Semin goal against and continues to struggle for minutes under Barry Trotz's seasoned guidance.
- Evgeny Kuznetsov sat in the press box for the first time since November 7th against Chicago. He has only produced two points since that scratching (a one goal one assist game against the Islanders) and Trotz opted to sit the import tonight.
The Capitals may have a chance to secure third place for themselves in the Metropolitan Division Saturday night in New Jersey. If they repeat their road game tonight they will have a good chance to build off of their solid performance tonight.