The Washington Capitals hoped to give D.C. sports fans something to cheer about after the Redskins lost to the Minnesota Vikings Sunday afternoon. Despite allowing the Carolina Hurricanes to tie the game late in the third period, the Capitals did just that, hanging on for a 3-2 shootout victory for their third straight victory.
Although they outshot the Hurricanes 40-28, the Capitals only scored twice and both goals came in the first period. The Capitals opened the scoring at 7:00 when Eric Fehr stole the puck from Hurricanes defenseman Joni Pitkanen in the corner and sent a pass to Marcus Johansson, who was wide open in the slot. Johansson then beat Cam Ward for his third goal of the season.
"It's always good to get a good start, but it doesn't matter if it is the first goal or last goal," Johansson said. "It is always good to get us going and it turned out to be a pretty important goal, since there were only two."
Alexander Semin added his 18th goal of the season and fourth in two games at 18:47. Alex Ovechkin broke free, worked the puck around Hurricanes Tim Gleason and found Semin for the point-blank one-timer.
Carolina mustered only seven shots on goal in the first period, but didn't take long in the second period to finally strike back. Eric Staal cycled the puck behind Semyon Varlamov and sent a pass to Erik Cole in front to cut the Capitals' lead in half just 50 seconds into the period. The Hurricanes would dictate play for most of the second period and held the Caps to seven shots. Carolina goaltender Cam Ward kept the Hurricanes in the game by making 38 saves, most of which were highlight reel-worthy.
After a back-and-forth third period, Staal played spoiler, scoring with just 2.2 seconds left on a scrum in front of Varlamov. Staal's goal to tie the game was his second game-tying goal against Washington this week; Staal also tied Wednesday's game at 2 in the third period.
The overtime period saw many great chances, including Varlamov's save on a 2-on-1 right in front of the crease. In the shootout, Ovechkin scored the only goal to lift the Capitals to victory. The Capitals ended the week 3-0 against their Southeast Division rivals and will head on the road for games against the St. Louis Blues Wednesday and the Dallas Stars Thursday.
"It was a tough week, a lot of games," Capitals defenseman John Carlson said. "We felt that we played pretty good, so we'll get a recovery day tomorrow and get back after it and have a good week next week."