The Carolina Hurricanes and the Washington Capitals were each just officially eliminated from the playoffs, but apparently it bothered the Canes more as they came out flat once again and lost to the Caps, 5-2 in front of 15,735 fans at the PNC Arena on Thursday night.
The Caps jumped on the Canes early as Joel Ward scored just 1:02 into the game and the visitors never looked back.
Washington's line of Jason Chimera, Eric Fehr, and Ward dominated as they each scored a goal and had two assists.
The Canes made the score 2-1 late in the second period on a shorthanded tally by Jiri Tlusty when he got a perfect feed from Jordan Staal, but the Carolina faithful had little to cheer about other than that.
Troy Brouwer notched one with just 36 seconds left in the second to dash any Carolina hopes.
Early in the third period Washington scored twice in 1:02, making the score, 5-1 and the game turned to a rout.
Radek Dvorak scored with a minute and change left in the game to make the score look semi-respectable.
After the game, Kirk Muller said that the Canes were deflated because they were just mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but the Capitals were much closer than Carolina and it did not seem to bother them, as they were also eliminated at the same time the Canes were when the Blue Jackets clinched two days ago.
The Hurricanes traveled right after the game to Detroit for a match on Friday night.
- The Hurricanes outshot the Caps 38-21 but that stat is deceiving. The Capitals won the battles they needed to and controlled the puck at times instead of taking shots. Justin Faulk had a team high seven shots.
- Remarkably, the team was credited with 40 hits. Riley Nash was high man with six.
- They were also credited with 20 giveaways. Alexander Semin and Brett Bellemore had three apiece.
- Faulk had a team high 24:43 of ice time.
- Eric Staal interview here.