Photo: Gregg Forwerck
Twenty hours after notching their ninth straight win, the Capitals slogged down to Raleigh, NC with a depleted lineup and groggy eyes. Washington weathered an early storm from the Hurricanes in the opening 20, with backup netminder Philipp Grubauer holding strong.
In the second, Phillip Di Giuseppe, who has the most pretentious name in the NHL, capitalized on some lazy and confused back checking by the second line and Alex Ovechkin. Carolina continued to pepper Grubauer with shots, but Nicklas Backstrom, in the lineup after leaving Wednesday’s game early, unleashed a laser wrist shot past Eddie Lack after some fancy feet by TJ Oshie.
The game was decided in the third. It did not go well for Washington. Eric Staal barely got the puck across the goal line for the go-ahead marker before Jeff Skinner added another four minutes later. Alex Ovechkin did his best to spark a comeback with an epic shot, but it was not enough. Andrej Nestrasil, who is not a cold medicine, added an empty netter. Canes beat Caps 4-2.