Hurricane’s survive DC, beat Caps 3-2

  • Michael Prosser

Nathan Gerbe celebrates scoring the game winning goal in the Third period of Washington’s 3-2 loss to Carolina (courtesy of Patrick McDermott)

For Carolina Hurricane’s rookie Elias Lindholm, Thursday night’s game against the Washington Capitals was a game, and a night that the Boden, Sweden native will never ever forget.

Lindholm scored his first career NHL goal against goaltender Braden Holtby but it was former Buffalo Sabre Nathan Gerbe who tallied the game winner as the Hurricanes escaped Verizon Center with a 3-2 victory.

Jason Chimera started the scoring off after linemate Eric Fehr dumped the puck into the Hurricanes zone, the speedy

Jason Chimera celebrates with the team after scoring the first goal of the game (photo courtesy of Patrick McDermott)

winger beat rookie Ryan Murphy to the puck and beautifully tucked it past goalie Anton Khudobin for an early 1-0 lead but Lindholm’s goal, which came off a deflected Jeff Skinner shot in front tied the game.

But then after Jason Harrison tripped up Nicklas Backstrom, arguably the most dangerous power play in the NHL took the ice and “The Great 8″ Alex Ovechkin scored his league leading 5th goal of the year, tipping in a Steve Oleksy point shot putting the Caps back ahead. But that would be all the scoring the home team would do for the night.

In what always acts as a homecoming for Alex Semen, the former Capital graced Verizon Center’s score sheet with his presences, tying the game at two after Lindholm beat fellow Swede Nicklas Backstrom on the draw. After some crisp passes, Semen buried a shot past Holtby for the tying goal, setting up Gerbe’s heroics in the third.

With just over 13 minutes to go in the game, Washington failed to break the puck out of their own zone, causing a turnover that was caused by impressive forechecking by veteran (and aging veteran might I add) Radek Dvorak. Justin Faulk took advantage of the poor play in the Cap’s own zone and fired a shot on goal that Gerbe tucked home on the rebound. Khudobin slammed the door shut on the rest of the Capitals chances and the Canes hung on.

For the Capitals, they’ve last three of their last four, and all four games have been decided by less than two goals. The home stand continues tonight (Saturday) when the red hot Colorado Avalanche come to Verizon Center, lead by new head coach Patrick Roy and number 1 overall pick Nathan MacKinnon. The Hurricanes, who lost in a shootout on Friday to the Los Angeles Kings, will continue to play host to teams from the Western Conference at home with the Phoenix Coyotes coming to town on Sunday.

OTHER GAME NOTES:

.The Capitals assigned both Michael Latta and Connor Carrick to Hershey, which is unusual for Carrick since he’s only 19. For those that don’t know the rule, a player who is under the age of 20 that is North American Born has to be sent back to the club that holds his Junior rights in the CHL (however apparently there are special circumstances to this rule ie John Carlson who played in Hershey after winning gold in the World Juniors) and recalled former University of Minnesota defenseman Nate Schmidt.

. Alexander Urbom saw his first ice as a member of the Capitals on Thursday, racking up over 16 minutes of time with Steve Oleksy. Urbom registered three shots on goal.

. The Avalanche come into town winners of four straight and have yet to give up more than one goal in the four games they’ve played this season, outscoring their opponents 13-3 in four games.

 

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Michael Prosser

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