The Carolina Hurricanes kept coming from behind all game long but finally took the lead when it counted after Nathan Gerbe roofed a perfect shot past Justin Peters during the shootout to give his team a 4-3 win over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night at the PNC Arena.
The win gives the Canes a 3-2 preseason record with one more game to play on Friday night against the Penguins.
Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring for the visitors just 20 seconds into the game when he got past the Carolina defense and beat Eddie Lack, who said he was fighting the game a bit to start off.
The Hurricanes tied the score shortly after when Kris Versteeg found Elias Lindholm in front of the Washington net, but the Caps would regain the lead just 32 seconds later when Stanislav Galiev scored, making it 2-1, Caps.
Washington made the score 3-1, five minutes and change into the second period but the Canes got within one goal when Riley Nash stole a pass and scored on an unassisted play.
Carolina was then given almost two minutes of 5-on-3 time when the Caps made two straight penalties. Nathan Gerbe took a pass from Eric Staal and roofed a pretty shot past Braden Holtby to tie the score.
Justin Peters replaced Holtby to start the third.
The score stayed tied until overtime, but neither team was able to light the lamp during the five minutes of 3-on-3 action.
The Canes went with Rask, Skinner, Terry, and Gerbe as their shooters. Skinner notched one right after T.J. Oshie scored for Washington. Lack had some big saves and Gerbe scored the eventual game-winner.
After the game, coach Peters said that he was not sure if he would keep Eric Staal at center or not. He said that there was not enough ice time for some players with this lineup and that they had to look at things. "The rhythm is not right," the coach said.
He will have to start making that decision soon as well as which youngsters to keep and which ones to send to Charlotte, (or to juniors in Haydn Fleury's case).
They have one more exhibition game left on Friday night to help him make those choices.
- While the Hurricanes were outhit 25-13, they did not back down to rough play. After Joakim Nordstrom was hit along the boards by Oshie, his teammates came to his defense. Justin Faulk ended up pairing up with Brooks Laich and they dropped the gloves. Faulk took him down, much to the delight of the sparse home crowd.
- Announced attendance was just over 6,000.
- The Canes were outshot for the game 34-27 and were really under the gun in the third period when they only mustered three shots on goal. Lack got better as the game went on and made some nice saves down the stretch to keep the game tied.
- Gerbe was named the 1st star of the game and had a team high four shots on goal and three hits to go with his two goals.
- Noah Hanifin had a team high 25:09 of ice time and spent some time paired up with Faulk.
- Brett Pesce led the team with four blocked shots.