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The Capitals traveled to North Carolina for playoff hockey there for the first time in nearly a decade and they were met by an unfamiliar Hurricanes team. Carolina walked the Capitals in Game 3 with a 5 to 0 victory, their first of the series and first against Washington this season.
Here’s Monday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Not much here. Alex Ovechkin did not lose the fight he was asked for.
Minus: Washington registered a single shot in the second period. During that frame the Hurricanes put the game away with two tallies.
Nine more notes on the game.
- The Hurricanes got their first lead of the series 9:43 into the third game. After a terrible turnover from Christian Djoos (he’d have a second one in the third) the puck was shot by Justin Faulk before being tipped into the net by Warren Foegele.
- Barely a minute later, with PNC Arena still rocking, Andre Svechnikov and Ovechkin fought in Washington’s zone, with the latter ending the bout swiftly. A pair of pops from Ovechkin’s right put Svechnikov down and hushed the arena as medical attention was administered to the rookie forward.
- Both Svechnikov and Micheal Ferland left the game in the first period with Ferland only taking three shifts.
- Foegele tallied his second of the evening six minutes into the middle frame. With Matt Niskanen sliding out of the slot Sebastian Aho walked into it and slid a perfect pass to Foegele, who wouldn’t miss from five feet.
- Five minutes later Dougie Hamilton extended Carolina’s lead to three with his first of the series. With Nicklas Backstrom in the penalty box Hamilton floated a puck through traffic that Braden Holtby never saw.
- Through forty minutes of play Carolina was outshooting Washington by more than twenty (33 to 10). The Hurricanes were also dictating the game’s physical play, doubling up the Capitals in hits through two (40 to 20).
- Midway through the third period Hamilton ripped home his second goal of the game. On the power play once again Hamilton’s shot beat traffic and Holtby for a four goal Carolina lead.
- Brock McGinn would provide the margin of victory with a sharp shortside shot that beat Holtby upstairs with less than five minutes to play.
- The Hurricanes suffocated Washington’s offense in the third period nearly as well as in the second, limiting the Capitals to seven shots on goal during their comeback attempt. Petr Mrazek ended his evening with just 17 saves (but a shutout nonetheless).
Two nights off. Hard reset.