After winning three in a row against the Oilers, Islanders, and Flyers, the Carolina Hurricanes looked to turn that momentum into a win against the best team in the NHL. Well, that momentum hit the stacked roster of the Washington Capitals. Much like the Will E. Coyote runs
into his painted train tunnel, the Canes win streak crashed and burned tonight against the wall that is Braden Holtby who is now 12-0-0 in his last 12 starts with two shutouts. Here’s how the each period went.
The Carolina Hurricanes came out strong the first eight minutes of the game. They were keeping the Capitals out of their zone and working the puck down low. Jay McClement had a nice shot that he should have passed to Nordstrom standing in front of the net, but it led to a nice rebound. After the twelfth minute mark, the Capitals remembered they are the best team in hockey right now and that the Canes are, well, the Canes.
The Capitals drew a penalty after the refs sent Ron Hainsey off for tripping. It didn’t take long for the Capitals to capitalize (get it?) and Ovechkin blasts one past Eddie Lack after Slavin blocked the initial shot. Of course, the PK wasn’t helped by Victor Stalberg losing his stick, but what are you going to do? If your Carolina then the answer is nothing as they only registered one more shot for the rest of the period while allowing Tim Connolly to look like a superstar:
The Hurricanes played a little bit better in the second period. I mean after the last half of the first there wasn’t anywhere really to go but up. They drew two penalties but failed to score on either. For some reason, the Power Play drop pass is back in effect despite showing time and time again it doesn’t help and in fact almost cause a turnover when Hanifin tried to do it one time. Right now Slavin is about the only bright light in this game by making passes like these:
The Carolina Hurricanes came out with a little pep in their step and draw a penalty which the Hurricanes fail to take advantage of. In fact, they fail to even get a shot on net. It wasn’t very pretty. But this improved play is quickly put down with a Lars Eller blast that finds a spot above Lack’s shoulder to make it 3-0. Kuznetzov would find himself alone in the slot less than a minute later. Johansen fed him the puck, and the Russian puts it home far post.
By the time Johansen put in Ovechkin’s rebound for the fifth goal the Hurricanes had stopped caring. You can tell by the fact that there are not one but two Washington players left unmarked in front of the crease on a penalty kill. Oh yeah, the Canes penalty kill was awful by their standards with a 33% kill rate. And in the end, the Caps prove to be just too much for the Hurricanes. Too much skill, too much speed, too much luck you name it, the Caps had more of it than the Hurricanes tonight. Hopefully, Carolina rights the ship in Dallas before their bye week because every game is an absolute must win now to keep the playoff dream alive.