Skinner With Winner: Hurricanes 4, Capitals 3 - OT

Ryan Murphy passes to Jeff Skinner for game-winner against Caps. - Rob Carr

Jeff Skinner nets a hat-trick as Canes top Caps

After losing five straight games, the Carolina Hurricanes have now won two overtime games in a row as they defeated the Washington Capitals, 4-3 in overtime on Thursday night at the Verizon Center.

Jeff Skinner netted his second career hat-trick, and second of this season, as he continued on his December hot streak.  The winger now has 15 goals and 19 points in his last 14 games.

Anton Khudobin earned the win as he made 38 saves on 41 shots, extending his record to 3-0-0 so far this season.  It was the Russian's first NHL game since October 13, 2013.

The Canes had a slow start but Khudobin held the fort early while the Caps swarmed the Carolina zone.  But later in the first period, the Caps were called for too many men on the ice, then Brooks Laich came up high on Alexander Semin, to give the Canes a 5-on-3 opportunity.  Skinner roofed in his first goal to make it 1-0 during the powerplay.

Just 49 seconds into the second period, Alex Ovechkin tied the score as his shot deflected off of Ron Hainsey's stick into the Carolina net.

Less than a minute later, Manny Malhotra scored short side against Washington goalie, Philipp Grubauer, and the Canes were back up by one.  It looked like it was going to be a crazy period as the Capitals would score again a minute and change after that goal to tie things up again.

Just a few seconds after that goal, Ovechkin broke in alone and Justin Faulk reached around to try to stop him, but brought him down.  Ovechkin was given a penalty shot but Khudobin stopped him.

Just 14 seconds after the penalty shot, Washington scored again when Steve Oleksy threw a puck toward the net that went in off of Hainsey, who had been knocked down in the crease.  That gave the Caps a 3-2 lead.

Once again the Canes answered and answered quickly.  On a 3-on-1 rush, Ryan Murphy put a shot on goal and Skinner knocked in the rebound to tie the game up again.

The score stayed tied 3-3 the rest of the way until Murphy and Skinner teamed up again in overtime.  During a 2-on-1 break, Murphy held the puck until the last second and then made a picture perfect pass to Skinner, who chipped it in for the winner.

Next up, the Canes will take on the New York Islanders on Saturday night.

Game Notes:

  • The Canes did a great job of staying out of the penalty box and were called for just one penalty the entire game.  The Caps were called for four penalties.
  • Khudobin looked very good and made the saves he had to make for the win.  John-Michael Liles also had some good moments for his first game wearing the sightless eye and looks like he might be a help on the powerplay.  He had 15:23 of ice time and finished with a +2.
  • The team had 19 blocked shots led by Semin who had four.
  • The Canes were outshot 41-33.  Faulk had a team high seven while Skinner was next with five.
  • Post game interviews are at CanesPR.com.
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