The Carolina Hurricanes took advantage of a depleted Washington Capitals squad and Justin Peters earned a 26 save shutout while leading his team to a 4-0 win at the Verizon Center. It was the goalie's second shutout over the Caps in the past two seasons.
Riley Nash scored twice and Patrick Dwyer had a goal and an assist as the surging Canes won their sixth game in their last seven.
Not unlike the Hurricanes two weeks ago, the Capitals were missing several starters due to injuries, including three defensemen. Regardless, Carolina used a complete game by all four lines to control the contest and extend their lead in the Southeast Division.
Just four minutes and change into the game, Joe Corvo started the scoring when he threw a shot at Braden Holtby from a bad angle which hit the goalie in the back of the head and bounced in the net. The blueliner quipped in an interview during the first intermission that he had seen a lot of goals scored that way but had never done it himself.
The play exemplified the freedom that the defense has to jump into the play as the defenseman took the puck behind the net to set something up after Eric Staal won a face off and Alex Semin missed the net with his shot.
Nash scored both of his goals in the second period, first when he deflected a Jay Harrison shot into the net. Late in the period, (with just 1:34 left), Dwyer negated an icing call by beating the Washington defense to the puck, then set up Nash from behind the net and the third line center beat Holtby with a nice shot out front.
Finally, Dwyer closed out the scoring when he sent a long shot into an empty net with 1:21 left. Nash was at Dwyer's side, but Troy Brouwer was closing in and setting up the rookie for the hat trick was not a sure thing.
Peters looked solid in the shutout and calmly turned aside any pressure the Caps were able to muster, including a shorthanded breakaway attempt by Brouwer. The Canes outshot the home team by a 31-19 margin after two periods and 36-26 for the game.
The two teams will face each other again on Thursday night in Raleigh.
- The first line of Eric Staal, Jiri Tlusty, and Alexander Semin had three blocked shots each, showing that they really do play at both ends of the rink. Staal and Semin picked up an assist on Corvo's goal. Semin took two high sticks to the face from his former teammates, one drawing blood.
- The powerplay did not score this night but did generate plenty of shots of goal. They went 0-3 on the night. The penalty kill continues to shine and did not allow a goal. (Dwyer's empty netter was shorthanded.)
- The Canes won 56% of the game's faceoffs. (J Staal 73%, E Staal 59%, Nash 53%, and Brent 25%.)
- Jeff Skinner and Justin Faulk each had a team high five shots on goal.
- Tim Wallace led the club with four hits.
Drayson Bowman dropped the gloves with Steve Oleksy while the Canes were moving the puck in the offensive zone. There was probably a better time for that.
- Alex Ovechkin had several good attempts to set up his teammates but did not have an official shot on goal.
- Post game quote sheet from Japers' Rink