Once again, the Carolina Hurricanes fell behind early before eventually losing, this time to the Washington Capitals, 4-2 at the Verizon Center on Tuesday night.
Alex Ovechkin scored his 50th goal of the season in the game, the sixth season in his career he has done so.
The Caps got on the board just 2:46 into the game when Mike Green sent a puck toward the net at a very tight angle that either took a weird bounce or bad deflection past Cam Ward.
Ward had a tough night overall and allowed four goals on just 20 shots in this game.
Ovechkin would score his 50th a bit later in the period and the home team skated into the first intermission with an easy 2-0 lead.
The Canes stepped up their play to start out the second. Alexander Semin made a strong play and showed some speed as he beat his defender down the ice to set up Carolina's first goal. His move had Braden Holtby out of the net and the puck got out to Nathan Gerbe, who made no mistake with the open net.
Eric Staal then had a chance for redemption when he lifted a puck over a down and out Holtby to tie the score. The Captain had a similar chance in the first period, but failed to lift the puck and shot into Holtby's pads.
With the score now tied, Washington then took the game back over.
Brooks Laich and Jason Chimera teamed up for a pretty play which faked Ward out of the net for the eventual game-winner. Ovechkin would pick up an assist to go with his goal when Joel Ward was able to get his stick on a puck through Brett Bellemore for the insurance goal, late in the second period.
Both teams seemed to be going through the motions for the third period as the Canes managed just five shots on goal while the Caps had only one. Of course the Capitals had a two goal lead and had a better excuse to be sitting back a bit.
For the game, the Canes outshot the Caps 25-20.
The Hurricanes were not called for a single penalty in the game, the fourth time that has happened this season. They remain the least penalized team in the league.
While this is a good thing because there are fewer penalties to kill, one might wonder if the reason is because of exceptional discipline, or lack of aggressive play.
After the game, coach Bill Peters complained that his team had "too many passengers."
They will next face a hungry Panthers team in Florida on Thursday night.
- Eric Staal led the Canes with five shots on goal and three blocked shots. Understandably,because this was his first game at center in awhile, he was a bit out of synch in the faceoff circle and won just 33% of his draws there.
- After playing a very physical game against the Bruins, the team was outhit 34-18 in this contest. Gerbe had a team high four hits.
- event summary