As per recent history, the Capitals won a game against the Hurricanes in close fashion.
The Caps started slow, as they were sluggish coming out of the first period, allowing Carolina to start the game aggressively. But after Semyon Varlomov weathered the storm early, the Caps struck. Mathieu Perreault was able to score Washington's first goal of the night in the 1st, but suffered a brutal hit that knocked him out of the game late in the 1st period.
In the beginning of the second, the Canes responded with a goal from Jussi Jokinen that tied the game up 1-1. But the second period belonged to Alex Ovechkin. Ovi snatched the puck in the neutral zone way from Carolina and spotted David Steckel for the wrister to give the Caps a 2-1 lead. The captain continued his stellar second period by finally ending his long scoring drought, a broken play that where Mike Green's shot deflected to a wide open Ovi, giving the Caps a 3-1 lead going into the third.
But the Hurricanes drew closer in the third. Tuomo Ruutu scored on a tip-in from Jay Harrison to cut the Caps lead to 3-2. From there it was a nail biter all the way till the end. The Caps had a chance to ice the game iwth a power pay late in the period (just their second of the day), but were unable to cash in. They simply outlasted the Canes in the end and earned themselves a gritty win in the division.
Semyon Varlamov was 33/35 on save opportunities and turned in a solid performance. He was especially solid during the early moments when the Canes were on the offensive, and again when shutting out the Canes during power plays.
The Caps now have one game to go until their much anticipated matchup with the Penguins in the Winter Classic. If they play well against the Canadiens, they can hopefully gain some positive momentum heading into the big game on New Years Day.