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Game 35 Recap: Capitals 5, Hurricanes 3

Snake-bitten Canes drop fifth straight at home and have one win in last 10 overall.

Joni Pitkanen is carted off the ice in the second period at the PNC
Joni Pitkanen is carted off the ice in the second period at the PNC

The Carolina Hurricanes dropped a game they felt like they deserved to win as they lost to the Washington Capitals, 5-3 in front of 16,530 at the PNC Arena on Tuesday night.

The Canes out-shot and out-chanced the Caps in significant fashion, but the visitors took advantage of most of the chances they had and jumped over the Hurricanes in the standings with the win. The Canes are now in third place in their division and 11th in the Eastern Conference.

The loss was the Canes fifth straight at home and they are now winless in nine of their last ten games.

It seems this loss did not come because of lack of effort though as the team once again jumped out to a 2-0 lead on two goals by Jiri Tlusty and they were buzzing at times.

The Canes were out-shooting the Caps 10-3 with less than a minute to go in the first period, but Alex Ovechkin would place a perfect shot over Dan Ellis with just 39 seconds left to give the visitors the momentum going into the first intermission.

The second period turned out to be a nightmare for Carolina as Mike Green started it with a score just 42 seconds into it to tie things up.

Tlusty put the home team back up and scored his first career hat trick 1:10 later. The goal was the second straight with the man advantage for the Canes, and it seemed as if their powerplay troubles might be over.

But the Caps would score three more times in the period, one a short-handed goal with just 45 seconds left in the period, to put away the game.

After Green scored again to tie the game, Kirk Muller made a change in net as Ellis had allowed three goals on just seven shots. But Justin Peters allowed two more goals on four shots the rest of the period. Peters did not allow a goal the rest of the game on eight more Washington shots in the third.

Joni Pitkanen also got injured in the period when he crashed awkwardly into the boards while trying to get an icing call. The defenseman had to be pushed out on a cart but was not taken to the hospital when all was said and done. There was no update on his status after the game except that he was being treated at the arena.

The teams battled back and forth in the third period with no more scoring.

After the game, coach Muller said that he felt his team deserved to win this one, as well as the Toronto contest. Regardless, the Canes now have another team to jump in the standings if they wish to make the post season.

Next, they face the Tampa Bay Lightning at home on Thursday night.

Game Notes:

  • Carolina outshot Washington 34-19 for the game. Jeff Skinner had five shots and Alexander Semin four.
  • Tlusty's third goal was his 100th career NHL point.
  • After two periods, the Caps were out-hitting the Canes 30-17 and were imposing their will physically, even though they were not generating shots on goal. At the end of the game, it was 33-19, Caps. Drayson Bowman had five hits for the home team.
  • Jay Harrison had a team high four blocked shots. The team had 15 for the game.
  • It did seem that newcomer Marc-Andre Bergeron helped the powerplay. He was on the ice for both powerplay tallies and picked up an assist on the first powerplay goal. He was also on the ice for the shortie for Washington.