Carolina Hurricanes rookie Elias Lindholm had the best game of his young career and Nathan Gerbe netted the game-winner in the third period as the Canes topped the Washington Capitals, 3-2 on Thursday night at the Verizon Center.
Lindholm had a hand in each of Carolina's goals. First, he tied the game, 1-1 at 12:58 into the second period on a long shot from just inside the blueline that was deflected before it bounced past Braden Holtby. Next, he won an important faceoff during a 5-on-3 chance, which led to another goal.
Then before Gerbe knocked in the game-winner, Lindholm started the play off with a good forecheck, which got things started in the Washington end.
After a bit of a shaky start, in which Jason Chimera scored at 5:33 into the game, Anton Khudobin came back strong and played solidly while making 30 saves on 32 shots. The win gives the goalie a 2-0-0 record and a .940 save percentage.
The Canes tied things up on Lindholm's goal, but Alex Ovechkin would put the home team back up just 54 seconds later.
The Hurricanes battled and a bit later in the second period, had 26 seconds of a 5-on-3 advantage. Alexander Semin then rifled in his first of the season to tie things back up.
Nathan Gerbe would then put the Hurricanes ahead for the first time at 6:59 into the third. He leads Carolina with three goals this season.
The Caps put on their typical flurry at the end of the game and things got a bit dicey for the visitors. With just over a minute left, Ovechkin got called for roughing Semin with a high hit, but somehow Semin was also called for embellishing on his fall.
Then Jordan Staal sent the puck over the glass for another penalty with 26 seconds left, to give the Caps a distinct advantage. But the Canes held on for the win and earned their first road victory of the season.
Justin Faulk played another very strong game and logged a game high 28:03 of ice time. The defenseman notched another assist, giving him four in four games. Jeff Skinner picked up two more assists and now has a team high five for the season.
The Canes returned home right after the game and will take on the Los Angeles Kings Friday night at the PNC.
- Lindholm won 62% of his faceoffs as well, (8 of 13).
- Carolina held Washington's best powerplay in the NHL to 0-5 for the night. The Canes went 1-5 while with the man advantage.
- Faulk not only led the team in ice time, but also had a team high five hits and two blocked shots. Brett Bellemore was next with four hits.
- Gerbe led the team with seven shots on goal and hit the post once on a close play. Jiri Tlusty was next with five. The team outshot Washington 36-32.