For the second time in as many weeks, the Carolina Hurricanes came into Washington and were promptly run out of the building by the Washington Capitals, this time a 5-0 shutout at the hands of Braden Holtby that put an abrupt end to their three-game win streak.
The game was Eddie Lack’s first start since November 6th which was a loss to the Devils. He also played a conditioning stint with the Checkers and earned a 1-1-0 record.
The Capitals entered the game in first place in the NHL with 78 points. They also came into the game with a three-game win streak of their own. In their last game, a 5-0 win against the Los Angeles Kings, the Caps ended Peter Budaj’s 147:21 shutout streak.
The Canes came out quick and jumped out to a 7-2 lead in shots, but the Caps were able to take advantage of mistakes by the Canes. Ron Hainsey took the game's first penalty with 11:02 left in the first and Alex Ovechkin was able to bury a power play goal from his spot on the circle.
In the second period, Lack seemed to calm down and see the puck better. There were two opportunities for the Caps where were able to slide across the crease and square up well before the shot was taken. He was also more comfortable sliding away from the net to take the angle away from the shooter.
Bill Peters also made the decision to break up Brett Pesce and Jaccob Slavin at the start of the game. Slavin played with Justin Faulk and Pesce skated with Ron Hainsey. The experiment wasn’t disastrous, but Peters put them back together at the beginning of the third.
The decision to split them up was to split up their playmaking abilities. With both Slavin and Faulk on the same line, only one pairing was able to generate offense and generate breakaways from the d-zone. That wasn’t the only shake-up as Peters also paired Hanifin with Faulk in the third period as well.
Unfortunately for the Canes, neither move was able to generate offense. The Canes let up three more goals in the third for a final score of 5-0.
Road Struggles Continue
The Canes now move to 7-15-6 on the road with tonight’s loss. The team just plays completely differently on the road as compared to at home. The team really needed to play strong in front of Lack to start the game to give him time to calm down and instead Hainsey takes a penalty.
Later in the third, Lack let up a slapshot goal to Eller and immediately gave up a lazy goal on the following play. This was the story the last time they were in Washington, DC when they dropped a 6-1 decision. At home, they don’t ever appear to stop trying when they’re down and the 17-6-1 record shows.
Lucky for the Canes, after one more road game against Dallas, they come home after their bye week for a four-game home stand against the Avs, Pens, Sens, and Flames.
Rank the Performances
Here’s your chance to weigh in on how you think the team performed tonight. Upvote the players you think played well and downvote the ones who didn’t.