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Game 4 Recap: Ovechkin Scores but Carolina Wins 2-1, Oshie Leaves with Injury

Alex Ovechkin scored his 23rd career playoff PPG, but the storm in Raleigh proved too much for the Caps

Washington Capitals v Carolina Hurricanes - Game Four Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images

I don’t need to remind anyone of what happened on Monday, right? Okay cool. I will, however, remind everyone that both Micheal Ferland and Andrei Svechnikov left Monday night’s game, and neither of them will be in the Carolina lineup tonight (ICYMI: Svechnikov is sporting one heck of a black eye after his bout with Ovechkin). Calvin de Haan is also back on the Canes’ blueline. The Capitals made some lineup changes too: Travis Boyd draws in for Chandler Stephenson, and Jonas Siegenthaler makes his NHL playoff debut in place of Christian Djoos. The lines also got shuffled around a bit…

The game got off to a...rough start, to say the least. A Canes’ goal 17 seconds in was not the ideal opening shift of the game. The Caps got one back with an Ovi PPG in the second period, but Carolina’s goal at the end of the second sealed the deal for the Canes’ 2-1 victory.

Here’s Thursday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Even though they allowed the late goal, the Capitals were definitely the better team in the second period. They seemed to find their game, and they need to revert to whatever version of the Caps they summoned for those 20 minutes for the rest of the series.

Minus: T.J. Oshie left the game in the third period after crashing into the boards after a shove from behind by Warren Foegele. The collision did not look good, and T.J. left the ice while holding his right arm/shoulder. Yikes.

And now, this…

Nine more notes on the game:

1. 17 seconds. That’s all it took for the Hurricanes to get on the board, and it was none other than Warren Foegele with the tally on an odd-man rush. I wasn’t even in my seat yet, so it doesn’t count, right? Is that how it works? Kidding, it very much counts, and for a Caps team looking to rebound after Monday’s miserable affair, this was not an ideal start.

2. Hurricanes’ forward Jordan Martinook took an awkward run into the boards in the first after missing his check on Dmitry Orlov. He stayed down for a minute before being helped off the ice, not putting any weight on his right leg. He came back towards the end of the period, but was still favoring his left leg a bit. He returned for the second and took a twirl out on the ice, but decided he wasn’t feeling right and went down the tunnel again. This is certainly something to keep an eye on, seeing as the Canes are already down two forwards with Ferland and Svechnikov out with injuries.

3. The Caps had a much better start to the second period. They looked sharper, created some good chances, and seemed more invested overall. Washington’s defensive pairs also hit the blender in the second, and at one point looked like this:

Reirden continued to mix things up throughout the period, but perhaps the changes will do some good.

4. Teuvo Teravainen was called for hooking 8:42 into the second, so the Capitals power play got to work for the second time tonight. It was a pretty miserable power play for 1:52 and then Alex Ovechkin tied it with his second goal of the playoffs. It was, you guessed it, a one-timer from his office. 1-1, tie game.

5. With just 27.9 seconds left in the second period, the Hurricanes restored their one-goal lead with a Teravainen wrister after some...disastrous miscommunication between the Capitals on the ice. Brooks Orpik in particular was just all over the place after taking himself completely out of position. The Caps were the better team in the second, so this late-period goal was particularly demoralizing. 2-1 Canes after 40.

6. Warren Foegele was called for boarding T.J. Oshie with 5:08 left, but it probably should have been a five minute major. Look for yourself:

Oshie was down on the ice for a bit before heading down the tunnel, holding his right arm/shoulder completely limp. That does not look good for Oshbabe. You know what else didn’t look good? The Caps not cashing in on the ensuing power play.

7. The Capitals pulled Braden Holtby for the extra skater with 1:42 left in the game, but couldn’t manage a tie to force the game to OT. Canes win 2-1.

8. This was probably Sebastian Aho’s best game of the series so far. His puck handling was smooth, he made some excellent plays, and he looked much more aware. The Capitals need to watch out for him if that trend continues.

9. Petr Mrazek had a great night in net for Carolina. He made some stellar saves, including back-to-back saves on Tom Wilson and Nicklas Backstrom at the very end of the Caps’ third period power play as well as a late Evgeny Kuznetsov chance. Mrazek seems to have the Caps’ number, and they’re going to need to figure him out. Fast.

The series returns to Capital One Arena tied at 2-2 on Saturday night for Game 5, where the best of three series will commence.