The Washington Capitals looked poised for a big win in the return of Alex Ovechkin from injury, but instead will have to deal with a shootout loss. The Carolina Hurricanes rallied from a 2-1 deficit to ultimately get a 3-2 shootout victory thanks to a game-clinching goal by Tuomo Ruutu. The Hurricanes move to within three points of the eighth and final playoff spot with the win.
The Capitals took a 2-1 lead at the end of two periods, on the strength of goals by Alexander Semin and Marcus Johansson, and were in complete control of the game. But the Hurricanes rallied in the third period, scoring very early when Jeff Skinner put home his 27th of the season. The two teams played to a draw in the rest of the period and in overtime, setting up a shootout. The Capitals missed both of their chances, while Skinner scored first and Ruutu put home the game-winner.
Cam Ward saved 30 shots to get the victory for Carolina, while Semyon Varlamov struggled, with just 26 saves.