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Capitals vs. Hurricanes Recap: Caps Clinch Fifth Consecutive Playoff Berth

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A late goal from Nick Dowd puts Washington into the postseason

NHL: Washington Capitals at Carolina Hurricanes James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Capitals traveled to North Carolina for the second half of a home-and-home with the Hurricanes. For the second time in three nights Washington took a regulation win from their division rivals and secured their ticket to postseason.

Here’s Thursday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: With the win Washington collects their 100th standings point of the season.

Minus: Alex Ovechkin was unable to register his 50th goal of the season.

Eight more notes on the game.

  1. Four and a half minutes into the contest Nino Niederreiter put the Hurricanes on the board. Niederreiter stuffed his own rebound behind Braden Holtby from beneath the goal line.
  2. Carolina’s lead would be lost, however, only 42 seconds later. Brett Connolly finished off an odd man rush himself with a wicked shot that beat Curtis Mcelhinney gloveside to make it one apiece.
  3. Halfway through the second frame Warren Foegele put Carolina ahead again. After dancing into the offensive zone around Nick Jensen Foegele tucked his finish around Holtby’s right led pad.
  4. Early in the third period Jakub Vrana evened the score for Washington. Christian Djoos and Evgeny Kuznetsov put a pair of pretty passes together to get Vrana the puck and he finished off his chance with a beautiful backhand shot.
  5. And with five minutes remaining Nick Dowd put the Capitals ahead for the first time. A shot from Jensen along the wall was tipped by Dowd between McElhinney’s legs for the go ahead goal.
  6. Washington would survive a late minor penalty to Brooks Orpik and several scrambles by the Hurricanes’ offense. Holtby was at his best against Neiderreiter in his crease with ninety seconds left in regulation.
  7. Ovechkin missed his chance at an empty net with 44 seconds left, sending a shot from Washington’s zone a few inches wide of the right post.
  8. T.J. Oshie missed tonight’s contest with an illness, the latest in a line of Capitals to fall under the weather.