Reporting Sky Kerstein
The Capitals win their season high seventh in a row and Alex Ovechkin lit the fire this team needed to extinguish the Hurricanes with a goal 47 seconds into the third to turn the game the Caps way. The Canes dominated play for the most part the first two periods, including putting in the first goal of the game with 36 seconds left in the second period and Tuomo Ruutu kind of dragged the puck and flicked it by a screened Braden Holtby to give the Canes a 1-0 lead. The Canes out shot the Caps 25-19 after two periods and had all the momentum going their way.
Just 47 seconds into the third, Marcus Johansson dropped the puck behind him to Alex Ovechkin who had a long wrister that beat Cam Ward to tie the game up and shift the momentum. It was Ovechkin’s only shot of the game and his 28th goal of the year. A little less than seven minutes later, and the Caps just ending killing a penalty, Matt Hendricks blocks a shot where the rebound goes to Jason Arnott just getting out of the box, Arnott goes on a breakaway and get’s stuffed, but Hendricks being his usual gritty self is there to put in the rebound and give the Caps a 2-1 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
The Caps were outshot 41-26 in the game but another solid outing by Braden Holtby and the Caps are now 39-20-10, 88 points and are leading the Southeast Division by four points with 13 games remaining. The Caps are also only two points behind Philadelphia for first in the Eastern Conference but have played in two more games.
Braden Holtby is making a case for himself to stay by stopping 40 of 41 shots and earning his seventh win of the season. Holtby is now 4-0-1 at Verizon Center and has stopped 117 of 121 shots faced at home. After the game Head Coach Bruce Boudreau said “He’s making it tough, 3 really good goalies, he obviously doesn’t want to leave the net, so he’s doing a good job”. Holtby said “The fans here are outstanding, by far the best that I’ve been to in the league and that really gives you some motivation”.
The Caps are 5-0-0 against the Hurricanes this season and have won seven consecutive games for the first time since last season when they won 14 in a row. The Caps have a big game with another team trying to make the playoffs, the Chicago Blackhawks, on Sunday before they head on a six game road trip. The Caps are 9-1 in their last 10 games and just hitting their stride at the right time. They are 21-7-10 in one goal games and were the first team to beat Carolina this season when the Hurricanes were leading after the second period. The game on Sunday is a 12:30 start from Verizon Center and the Blackhawks will be on three days rest coming into it. Check out what Bruce Boudreau, Alex Ovechkin, Matt Hendricks, Braden Holtby & Mike Knuble had to say after the game.
3rd 0:47 Ovechkin (28), Johansson (12), Knuble (13)
3rd 7:24 Hendricks (8), Arnott (14)
Bruce Boudreau Postgame Audio
Alex Ovechkin Postgame Audio
Matt Hendricks Postgame Audio
Braden Holtby Postgame Audio
Mike Knuble Postgame Audio
Sky Kerstein is 106.7 The FAN’s Capitals Beat Reporter and a fill-in co-host. Also you can find video recaps of every Caps game and post-game interviews on www.1067thefandc.com. You can get in touch with Sky on Facebook or via Twitter at www.twitter.com/SkyKerstein.