Carrying a nine-game home winning streak into the final regular season meeting with Metropolitan Division rivals the Carolina Hurricanes, the Washington Capitals hoped to extend their home winning streak and overall three-game winning and stop the Canes current three-game winning streak. They would accomplish all of those goals tonight winning 5-0, scoring five plus goals for the ninth straight time at home. The Caps record their fifth shutout in eight home games and improve to 11-6-5 against the Metropolitan Division.
Caps captain and winger Alex Ovechkin moved up to 14th on the NHL’s all-time power play goal list with his 206th career power play and his 11th on the season in the middle of the first period and would later assist on a goal tonight. Ovechkin has four goals in his last six games and the Caps have scored the first goal of the game in 16 of their 18 games. Fellow winger Brett Connolly also scored in the first period and assisted later in the game for his fourth straight game with a point; he has scored three goals in his last four games and seven in his last 15 games. Third period goals were scored by winger Lars Eller and center Evgeny Kuznetsov 27 seconds apart. Eller’s was his second consecutive game with a goal and Kuznetsov’s goal was his sixth in his past eight games. Then the nail was put in the coffin when center Marcus Johansson scored a power play goal. Goalie Braden Holtby recorded 23 saves and tied for the NHL lead with his 7th shutout of the season. Holtby is 12-0-0 in his last 13 starts and 11-4-0 in his career against the Canes.
Canes goalie Eddie Lack, who had not seen the ice since November 10th due to a concussion injury made 23 saves but let in all five of Washington’s goals and drops his season record to 1-3-1. Only offensive highlights for the Canes were center Elias Lindholm and winger Sebastian Aho with three shots on goal each. Carolina drops its road record to 7-15-6. The Caps win the season series 3-2 winning the last three in a row. They have outscored opponents 50-12 during their current home ice winning streak.
Washington will have the next day off and then will play again at Verizon Center Thursday night against the Detroit Red Wings. Game time will be 7:00 PM/ET.
About the Author
Written by Brendan Keelan
Former High School and College athlete (football, Wesley College).