It was a typical, wild game between the Washington Capitals and Carolina Hurricanes. The momentum and scoring swings went back and forth until Chad LaRose put in a breakaway attempt to give the Canes a 3-2 lead with just 1:35 left in the game. If you were not familiar with this year's Caps, you might have thought the game was as good as over at that point, but not with these Capitals.
The visitors continued to attack the Carolina net until Eric Fehr was finally able to get one past Justin Peters with just 10 seconds left in regulation, tying the score at three.
The overtime period was pretty even as well until Ray Whitney found himself all alone in front of Semyon Varlamov and "The Wizard" squeezed one through the Russian goalie to end the game.
Joe Corvo scored two goals against his old team and Jussi Jokinen had two perfect passes for primary assists.
After a scoreless first period, Corvo got the scoring started just 30 seconds into the second as he knocked in a shot from the slot area. A couple minutes later it looked as if the Caps had scored again, but the goal was disallowed because of too many men on the ice.
Then the Canes ended up with a two man advantage after benefit of a four minute high sticking call on Shaone Morrisonn. It took them a bit, but Jussi Jokinen found Eric Staal on the doorstep and fed him a beautiful pass that the Carolina captain easily guided into the open net as the club cashed in on the opportunity.
The score did not remain tied for too long though as Corvo would strike again with just 12 seconds left in the period.
In the third period the Capitals continued attacking, but the make-shift Carolina defense was scrappy and Justin Peters scrambled to keep it a one goal game. The Canes were down to five defensemen at this point because Alexandre Picard went down to injury. (Paul Maurice said after the game that his status was day-to-day.)
Past the midway point of the third, Brett Carson was able to find an opening and Joni Pitkanen hit him with a good pass. Carson, who is usually a defensive orientated blueliner, shot a rocket past Varlamov and tied the score at two.
The soft-spoken rookie said that he was lucky after the game, but he sure looked like he knew what he was doing at the time. Perhaps he should shoot more often?
Late in the period, Chad LaRose found an opening and Jokinen fed him perfectly. LaRose never hesitated as he skated toward the goal and backhanded the puck in the net. The move looked exactly like the one he practiced at the morning skate.
(Not to take away the surprise, but Staal was working on a new breakaway move as well which finished with a backhander. It looked pretty good. We will see if he has enough confidence in it to try it in a game.)
In the last minute, Washington pulled the goalie and had an all out onslaught in the Carolina zone. It paid off at about the 10 second mark as Brandon Sutter blocked a shot. The puck bounced out to Fehr, who got just enough on his shot to beat Peters.
Ray Whitney's OT winner barely got by Varlamov but the vet found just enough of an opening to make it count.
Next up will be the Penguins on Saturday afternoon. The team will practice at the Rec Zone at noon Friday before leaving on an afternoon flight for the Iron City.
- Jamie McBain had another solid game. He picked up an assist, did a nice job at the point on the powerplay, had three shots on goal as well as three blocked shots, and finished with a +2. Not too shabby for his second career NHL game. He now has a 10 game scoring streak. (Counting the eight games he had in Albany.)
- Brett Carson also played very well. He picked up his physicality, (two hits), but kept up with his typical, responsible game. His goal was his second of the season.
Tuomo Ruutu led the Canes with six hits. The team was credited with 28. Patrick Dwyer was next with five.
- Joni Pitkanen played a game high 29:28 of ice time and had two assists.
- Chad LaRose had a team high five shots on goal. His goal was the 100th point of his NHL career. Carolina out-shot Washington for the game, 29-28.
- Eric Staal finished with a goal and an assist and now has 10 points in five games against Washington this season.