Game Analysis: Capitals At Hurricanes

Despite opening up a two-goal first-period lead on the Capitals, the Carolina Hurricanes came away with no points in a 3-2 loss to Washington in Raleigh. Patrick Dwyer got his sixth goal of the season and Alexander Semin scored on his former team.

For the first time this season the Hurricanes led at the end of the second period and couldn't finish off their opponent. Washington rallied from two goals down in the first period to win 3-2 Thursday at PNC Arena. Here's a closer look at Carolina's loss that dropped them to 3-6 vs. the Southeast Division.

Three Observations

1. Much was made here and at Puck Daddy about Carolina’s — er, Kirk Muller’s — recent success neutralizing Alexander Ovechkin, but the Capitals captain broke out Thursday with a goal and an assist to lead Washington to a 3-2 win. Still, he doesn't look like the Ovechkin of old — he was coasting around, making few if any hits, only getting jump when the puck was on his stick — and you can't help but wonder if the excitement of watching him play will ever return. Maybe the Capitals parted ways with the wrong Russian enigma.

2. Reports are circulating that Tuomo Ruutu and Joni Pitkanen could travel with the team for Saturday’s game in Tampa Bay. There's no assurance that either will play, but the addition of one or both could go a long way in helping Carolina’s terrible power play. The Canes stumbled to 29th in the league following another 0-fer Thursday, bringing them down to 13.3 percent with the man advantage (just 7.8 percent at PNC Arena). The Hurricanes power play hasn't been this bad since finishing 2003-04 at an NHL-worst 10.6 percent.

3. With the game knotted at 2 late in the third period, it looked like Carolina and Washington might head to overtime and perhaps even a shootout. Mike Ribiero's late goal ended those chances, keeping the Canes and Caps as the only two teams in the NHL yet to participate in a shootout. In case you were keeping track, Tampa Bay had the fewest in the NHL last season (3-3 in six shootouts) and also holds the record for a season when they went 2-1 in 2007-08. Carolina is the only team to go a full-season without a win in shootout era (0-5 in 2006-07).

Number To Know

6 — Goals for Patrick Dwyer, just two shy of the career high of 10 he had in 80 games during the 2010-11 season. If this were an 82-game season, Dwyer's goal total would project out to 18.

Plus

Jamie McBain — More than anything, mentioning McBain is long overdue. The 25-year-old defenseman has quietly put together a solid campaign and is an astonishing plus-14 in 19 games. Without any consistent special teams obligations — though some would argue it's at least worth giving him a try on the power play — McBain has been able to focus on his 5-on-5 play and has done well. His goal and point output has dipped a little, but his defensive zone mistakes are noticeably fewer and further between.

Minus

Tim Wallace — The bounces didn't go his way on Washington's power play goal, but Wallace was on the ice — and around the puck — for two goals against despite playing just 8:11 on the night. He also wasn't as noticeable as he has been since joining the team, though that might have as much to do with playing less than six minutes at even strength as anything.

News

The Hurricanes reassigned Chris Terry to the AHL’s Charlotte Checkers Friday. Terry played three games with the Hurricanes, his first NHL action, and scored his first career goal in his debut March 9 vs. New Jersey. Here's the release from the team.

‘CANES REASSIGN CHRIS TERRY TO CHARLOTTE
Forward played in three games during first career NHL recall

RALEIGH, NC – Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that forward Chris Terry has been reassigned to the Charlotte Checkers of the American Hockey League (AHL).

Terry, 23, was recalled to Carolina on March 8, and scored his first NHL goal in his NHL debut the following night against New Jersey. The Brampton, Ont., native played in three games during the recall, averaging 9:36 of ice time per game. Terry (5’10", 197 lbs.) returns to Charlotte where he leads all Checkers skaters in goals (22) and points (46), and is tied for the team lead with 24 assists while playing in 55 of the team’s 61 games this season. The Hurricanes drafted Terry in the fifth round, 132nd overall, in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft.

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