The Caps outshot the Canes 17-5 in the first period and had a 27-12 advantage after two periods.
Carolina gave up two powerplay goals and went 0-4 when they had the advantage, including some 5-on-3 time.
T.J. Oshie scored the first for the Caps in the opening period and Alex Ovechkin scored the final tally with 3 minutes and change left. Niklas Backstrom played in his first game of the season and also scored for the home team.
Jeff Skinner had the lone Hurricanes goal.
Cam Ward was the tough luck goalie with the loss for the Canes. He was kept very busy and made many nice saves in the losing effort. He ended up making 30 saves on 34 shots for the game.
Ward is now 1-3 for the season and has a .867 save percentage.
The Hurricanes, now 1-4, returned home after the contest and will try to regroup before starting their west coast road trip on Wednesday night in Colorado.