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Recap: Hurricanes 3, Capitals 0

Anton Khudobin with 28 save shutout as Canes put in solid team effort in win

Anton Khudobin makes a save against the Capitals on Friday night
Anton Khudobin makes a save against the Capitals on Friday night
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Hurricanes had yet to defeat the Washington Capitals this season but looked like the better team in this game as they beat their division rivals, 3-0 at the PNC Arena on Friday night.

Anton Khudobin earned his first shutout of the season and stopped all 28 shots he faced.

The night started off with a special tribute to Cam Ward, who had just recently played his 500th career NHL game.  Ward was given something from the league as well as a silver goalie stick from Ron Francis.  His family shared the special moment with him on the ice.

The home team used the early energy in the arena to out-skate their opponents and they jumped out to a 7-1 advantage in shots on goal.

Carolina finally put up a number where it counts with 2:39 left in the period when Brett Bellemore made a fake at the blueline to create a lane, then sent a puck on net.  Andrej Nestrasil was banging bodies in the crease and the puck found it's way past Braden Holtby, who made 35 saves on the 37 shots he faced this night.

It was Bellemore's first goal of the season.

Alex Ovechkin made a nice move in the period but hit the post and that was as close as the Caps got in the opening stanza.

Midway through the second period, Jeff Skinner found an opening near the slot area and Elias Lindholm fed him the puck from behind the net.  Skinner rifled it past the goalie to make it, 2-0 Carolina.

When Skinner is hot, he's hot.  That was the third straight goal for him in as many games and he now has scored six goals in his last eight games.

Tom Wilson tried to get his team fired up and he challenged Bellemore late in the period, but the Canes held the momentum, at least until later in the third.  Bellemore said that "he heard him coming", and "that's what makes the game fun," but both skaters spent five minutes in the penalty box for their skirmish.

The defenseman missed the morning skate because he wasn't feeling well but credited the medical staff for his improvement.

The Capitals came on with more zone time in the third period but Khudobin was scrambling and made the saves he needed to and Carolina's team defense did well in front of him.

The Canes actually outshot the Caps in every period and had a 38-28 advantage for the game.

Barry Trotz pulled out his goalie with about 3:20 to play and the Caps got close a couple of times with the extra attacker.

Eric Staal missed a backhanded chance at the empty net but a bit later Nathan Gerbe hustled to the puck, with Ovechkin all over him, and made his shot to salt the game away.

Khudobin was the first star, Skinner the second, and Bellemore the third, but Justin Faulk played over 28 minutes and played an excellent game.  Khudobin got the fireman's helmet afterward.

The Canes packed right after the contest and left for New York where they will play the Islanders on Saturday.

Game Notes:

  • Faulk not only led the team with 28:03 of TOI, he had three shots on goal, two blocked shots, five hits, and three takeaways.  It will be interesting to see how much he plays tomorrow night on a back-to-back.
  • The team was credited with 37 hits and tried not to get pushed around by the bigger Capitals.  Brad Malone had a team high seven.
  • Nathan Gerbe was all over the rink in this one and led Carolina with eight shots on goal.  He obviously deserved that empty-netter at the end.
  • Peters said after the game that he liked his current lines.  Perhaps he will keep them the same tomorrow night.